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Friday, 24 January 2014 10:48

Key hearing planned for man accused of slayings

(PORT HURON) -- A key hearing is taking place today for a paroled ex-convict accused of rape, torture and murder in the deaths of a St. Clair County couple. The preliminary exam for Manuel Gamez of Port Huron is underway to determine whether there's enough evidence to send the case to trial. The hearing earlier was delayed after a lawyer for Gamez requested a mental exam. In December, a judge ruled that Gamez was competent for trial. Gamez was charged with two open counts of murder, two counts of torture and one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Open murder charge means a defendant faces either a first- or a second-degree murder charge. Officers found the bodies of 29-year-old Daniel McRoberts and 26-year-old Melissa Ichenberg on July 30 at the Gratiot Village apartments. Gamez was arrested August 1.