Charges in Beating Death of Elderly Man
Martin Vargas (Police Photo)
Martin "Angel" Vega, 28, of the 5000 block of South Talman Avenue, was charged with one count of first degree murder, said News Affairs Officer JoAnn Taylor.
Vega was held with no bond today. He is eligible to receive the death penalty, but prosecutors have not decided if they will seek that sentence.
At about 6 p.m. Thursday, William Hallin, 67, went to collect the rent he was owed, but an argument ensued and Vega became enraged, police said. Vega beat Hallin until he was unconscious, said Taylor, and then set the victim on fire to try to conceal the murder.
An autopsy performed on Hallin, of the 6100 block of South Kenneth Avenue, showed he died of blunt head trauma from an assault and his death was ruled a homicide, the medical examiner's office said.
Hallin's burnt body was found Friday afternoon in the basement of the apartment house he owned in the Gage Park neighborhood.
(The Chicago Tribune contributed to this story)
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