A man faces up to 30 years in prison after being convicted of killing his roommate during an argument hours after moving into the man's Naperville townhome in 2014.
Grant Muren, 24, was found guilty Wednesday evening of second-degree murder, aggravated arson and residential arson following a bench trial in DuPage County.
Prosecutors say Muren beat and strangled 55-year-old Charles Clark after they had a sexual encounter and Clark told Muren to leave his home.
Muren, who was 21 at the time, had just moved into Clark’s west suburban Chicago townhouse less than eight hours earlier, prosecutors said.
Authorities say the Clark, a self-employed computer specialist, met Muren after the younger man answered Clark's Craigslist posting for a new roommate.
A neighbor told NBC 5 that Clark lived alone and was a “nice man.” He said Clark had a girlfriend, who visited occasionally and that Clark asked him before if he knew someone looking for a place to rent. The neighbor said he warned Clark not to put out the ad.
Clark’s girlfriend discovered his body on Jan. 22, 2014 and called 911.
When police arrived at the Estes Park neighborhood home, responding officers smelled natural gas and found Clark dead in a bedroom with contusions to his face and head, officials said. The tips of one of his fingers also appeared to have been bitten off, prosecutors said.
Following the murder, prosecutors allege Muren removed his personal belongings from the home and attempted to burn a lease agreement the two had drafted by putting it in the toaster oven.
Muren then took Clark’s cash and turned on the gas to the stove and left the oven door open in an attempt to “blow up and/or burn down the house,” investigators said.
Defense lawyer Paul DeLuca argued that the killing was self-defense, but called the trial and ruling "fair."