Grant Muren and Charles Clark drank brandy together before Clark began an argument with his new roommate in Naperville that ultimately left Clark dead, according to a scenario presented by Muren’s attorneys in the murder case.
“The evidence in this case is going to show that at the time of the incident (Muren) was defending himself while being attacked by the victim, Charles Clark,” Muren’s attorneys wrote in a recent motion seeking to have his $2 million bail reduced.
DuPage County Judge Kathryn Creswell denied that motion.
Prosecutors allege Muren, who recently lived in St. Charles, moved into Clark’s home on Vail Court in Naperville after responding to a Craigslist posting by 55-year-old Clark seeking a roommate. The two men spent less than eight hours together in Clark’s home before Muren strangled Clark, burned their lease agreement in the kitchen and turned on the stove burners and oven before fleeing, according to prosecutors.
Court documents state Muren took cash, wiped up the “crime scene” and “attempted to blow up and/or burn down the house” after strangling Clark.
A DuPage County coroner’s office autopsy concluded strangulation was the primary cause of Clark’s death.
Muren attorneys, Michael Gillespie and Paul De Luca, describe Clark as the instigator, writing he “angrily went into (Muren’s) room (and) pushed him to the floor” to begin a physical altercation.
“Clark attempted to gouge out (Muren’s) eyes and choke him,” the motion claims.
Muren choked Clark, but “did not believe he had killed Clark,” according to the motion.
The motion included 17 pictures to depict Muren’s injuries. Scanned versions of the photos contained in the court file are in black and white making it difficult to discern the specific injuries.
Paul Darrah, a spokesman for the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors would not comment on a pending case or the defense’s theory.
Muren has pleaded not guilty to a 12-count indictment on murder, robbery and arson charges. He had an active order of protection against him in Kane County at the time of Clark’s death. A former roommate of Muren’s in St. Charles sought the protective order after telling a judge Muren’s mood had turned violent and that, while drunk, Muren had stalked the man around their apartment last year.
As a teenager, Muren faced an unrelated order of protection after an incident inside the garage of a St. Charles man with whom Muren and his mother once lived with. The man suggested Muren had “frequent, violent outbursts,” according to the petition for an emergency protective order, which was granted in 2008.
Muren is scheduled to return to court June 5.