Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chicago, IL: Man torched ex-girlfriend’s Southwest Side home but killed neighbor instead, feds say

A 38-year-old Cicero man was charged with torching a Southwest Side building where his estranged girlfriend lived — a Jan. 14 blaze that killed one of her neighbors.

Juan Adame, also known as “Jaime Garcia,” was charged Wednesday with federal arson in the blaze that killed James Maca in the 4200 block of West 63rd.

Macca, 60, died of carbon monoxide intoxication and inhalation of smoke and soot, officials said. Adame’s ex-girlfriend was not home during the fire.

According to charges released Wednesday, Adame used gasoline to start a fire in the second-floor rear apartment.

His ex-girlfriend told federal agents she had dated Adame since August 2011.

She and Adame argued about her plan to visit a sick relative in Mexico, where Adame knew that she had an ex-boyfriend, authorities said. When the woman got to a home she also had in Indiana on Jan. 14, she found her car and some personal belongings were missing. So she sent text messages to Adame, saying she was leaving for Mexico and wanted nothing more to do with him, authorities said.

The arson charge carries a maximum penalty of death or life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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