Landlord in Arson-for-Insurance Murder Gets Public Defender

October 29, 2010

A Cook County, Illinois, judge has appointed a public defender to represent a Cicero landlord charged with murder for a Valentine’s Day fire that killed seven people at an apartment house he owned.

Landlord Lawrence Myers is charged with seven counts of murder and two counts of aggravated arson for allegedly hiring his building manager, Marion Andre Comier, to set fire to the building to collect $250,000 insurance money.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Circuit Court Judge Carol Kipperman ruuled earlier that Myers could not have a public defender because he had assets, including at least two other buildings.

But a private attorney told Kipperman that Myers’ properties weren’t worth enough to cover the cost of the case. Kipperman then appointed a public defender.

The fire killed seven people ages 20 and younger, including a 3-day-old infant.

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