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updated: 4/16/2014 4:31 PM

Bail reduction denied in Naperville murder case

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  • Grant Muren

      Grant Muren

 
 

Defense attorneys argued Wednesday that the $2 million bail for a 21-year-old man accused of killing his new Naperville roommate is oppressive and unreasonable because their client acted in self-defense.

However, the bail will stand, as Grant Muren likely has a "problem with alcohol consumption" and poses a considerable threat to the public, DuPage County Circuit Judge Kathryn Creswell ruled.

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Muren faces several charges of first-degree murder, concealment of a homicide and aggravated arson in the Jan. 20 strangulation death of 55-year-old Charles Clark of Naperville.

Muren's attorney, Michael Gillespie, said Wednesday that Muren was protecting himself during a violent struggle and did not intend to kill Clark.

Muren and Clark met earlier this year when Muren answered Clark's online ad seeking a roommate, Assistant State's Attorney Enza LaMonica said Wednesday.

On Jan. 20, Muren signed the lease paperwork and paid Clark the first $900 rent installment before moving into the townhouse on the 1100 block of Vail Court in Naperville's Estes Park neighborhood. Within hours the men purchased liquor and had a consensual sexual encounter in the loft, LaMonica said.

An argument ensued, however, after Clark showered. LaMonica said Muren was ordered to leave the townhouse but refused. A short time later, she said, Muren smashed Clark over the head, from behind, several times with a wooden tray table as Clark sat at a desk. Eventually Clark was strangled to death.

Muren is accused of taking back the $900 and fleeing, only to be arrested several days later when Clark's body was found.

Upon entering the home, authorities smelled natural gas and found the burners on and the oven doors left open. Lease papers and blood-soaked Lysol wipes packed the inside of the oven. Clark's body was in the upstairs bedroom.

"The evidence shows he wanted to blow the place up," LaMonica said. "The smoke detectors were also removed from the walls."

Gillespie, however, pointed to several bite marks on Muren's back at the time of his arrest and Clark's own alleged history of violent alcoholism as pointing to Clark as the aggressor.

Muren is next due in court on June 5 for a status hearing.

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