Homicide

Suburban Detroit man faces murder trial in hammer deaths of 85-year-old mother and father, 87

This undated booking photo released by the Oakland County Sheriff's Department shows Jeffrey B. Maurer. A Rochester Hills, Mich., district judge ruled Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 that there's enough evidence to try the 53-year-old Maurer in Oakland County Circuit Court on first-degree murder charges in the beating deaths of his 87-year-old father and 85-year-old mother.  (AP Photo/Oakland County Sheriffs Department)

This undated booking photo released by the Oakland County Sheriff's Department shows Jeffrey B. Maurer. A Rochester Hills, Mich., district judge ruled Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 that there's enough evidence to try the 53-year-old Maurer in Oakland County Circuit Court on first-degree murder charges in the beating deaths of his 87-year-old father and 85-year-old mother. (AP Photo/Oakland County Sheriffs Department)  (The Associated Press)

A suburban Detroit man with a history of mental illness who is accused of beating his 87-year-old father and 85-year-old mother to death with a hammer has been ordered to stand trial in their slayings.

A Rochester Hills district judge ruled Tuesday that there's enough evidence to try 53-year-old Jeffrey B. Maurer in Oakland County Circuit Court on first-degree murder charges.

Maurer faces an automatic penalty of life in prison without parole if convicted.

The couple's daughter called authorities Jan. 19, saying she was unable to reach her parents. Sheriff's deputies went to their home in Rochester Hills and found the bodies of William and Gayle Maurer in a vehicle in the garage.

Investigators say the couple died of blows to the head.