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Couple convicted for murdering 2 women in Surprise

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Posted at 7:35 PM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-01 06:27:29-05

SURPRISE, AZ — A former Michigan man and his wife have been convicted in the 2016 slayings of two women during a burglary in Surprise.

Maricopa County Superior Court officials say a jury Thursday found both Montez Wright and Tichina Shepard guilty on two counts of first-degree murder and related charges.

Sentencings are scheduled for April 26.

Authorities say 70-year-old Barbara Leslie and 75-year-old Ruth Schwed were found fatally shot in Leslie's Surprise home on Feb. 8, 2016.

Schwed was a friend of Leslie and was visiting from Albuquerque, New Mexico at the time.

Authorities say Wright and Shepard moved to Arizona from Southfield, Michigan, in January 2016.

Police say Wright and another man, Andrew Lauro, worked as gardeners in the subdivision where Leslie lived for about a month before the murders.

Lauro, from Goodyear, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and burglary and was sentenced to two life prison terms in 2017.