After making an in-court statement that lasted more than 90 minutes, a man who strangled his new roommate in Naperville in 2014 was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison.
In his address, Grant Muren, 24, criticized the DuPage County state’s attorneys who prosecuted him, called the man he killed, Charles Clark, a “vicious psychopath” and said he would go on to become a productive member of society after his release from prison.
What he did not do, Judge Brian Telander said, was accept any accountability for his crime.
“You truly are your own worst enemy,” Telander told Muren. “I have not been able to glean a glimmer of remorse or responsibility.”
Muren was found guilty in September for the January 2014 death of Clark, 55. Muren, formerly of the St. Charles area, met Clark when Clark advertised for a roommate to live at his Naperville townhouse. Just hours after Muren moved in, he strangled Clark during a struggle and then tried to induce a fire by turning on the gas stove and shoving his lease paperwork into a toaster.
Prosecutors tried him on first-degree murder charges, but Telander, who heard the bench trial, opted for second-degree murder and aggravated arson convictions, ruling that Muren believed he was acting in self-defense when he strangled Clark, but his belief was not reasonable.
There was also trial testimony that Clark had a history of violence, especially after he had been drinking, as he was the night he and Muren struggled. There was additional testimony there may have been some sexual contact before the fatal encounter.
Muren mentioned briefly that he was sorry the incident happened but said, “I had no qualms about getting out of there alive.”
“There’s no getting around it, Charles Clark was a vicious psychopath,” Muren said.
Earlier in the hearing, prosecutors presented jailers who recounted some infractions Muren allegedly committed, and St. Charles police testified to some relatively minor past run-ins with Muren.
When it was Muren’s turn to address the court, he launched into a one-hour, 40-minute statement during which he offered detailed rebuttals of the past incidents and criticisms of prosecutors, who he said were “desperate” to exaggerate his criminal record. At one point, he detoured into a discussion of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Continue Reading
Article Org: Chicagotribune.com