Tenant charged with killing landlord and burning his body

A Chicago man accused of using garden tools, an ice scraper, a BB gun and a pipe to allegedly beat his landlord to death before setting his body on fire, is eligible for the death penalty, Cook County prosecutors said Sunday.

Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil denied bail for Martin Vega, 27, who was renting an apartment from William Hallin, 67, in the two-story home Hallin owned in the 5000 block of South Talman Avenue in Chicago's Gage Park community. Vega is charged with first-degree murder.

Around 6 p.m. Friday, Hallin went to collect rent, and Vega didn't pay up, Assistant Cook County State's Atty. Emily Stevens said. Hallin then noticed Vega had a dog in his apartment, which was not allowed, officials said. Hallin told Vega he would have to move out, and a bloody fight ensued, officials said.

Vega allegedly pushed Hallin down stairs then delivered blows to Hallin's head and body with various weapons and tools, Stevens said in court. Vega allegedly took Hallin to the basement, where Hallin began to cry and beg for his life, Stevens said. To shut Hallin up, Vega put a shirt in his landlord's mouth, then beat his skull with a lamp, Stevens said.

Vega then choked Hallin with a rope and put him on a rug in the basement, Stevens said. He threw gasoline from a lawn mower on the rug and on Hallin, then lit the rug on fire, Stevens alleged.
from the Trib

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