The Chicago Tribune has an updated article about the trial of Lawrence Myers for murder relating to the 2010 fatal fire in Cicero:;

A jury Monday convicted a Cicero landlord of murder in an arson fire on Valentine’s Day, 2010, that killed seven people, including four children, according to prosecutors and court records.

Lawrence Myers, 64, wanted to burn down his building in the 3000 block of 48th Court to collect on a $250,000 insurance policy and move to West Virginia, prosecutors had alleged. Deep in debt, he hired his maintenance man, Marion “Andre” Comier, 51, who is still awaiting trial on murder charges, to set the fire, according to prosecutors.

But the fire in the four-flat apartment building at 3034 S. 48th Court, which prosecutors said Comier set with gasoline on a back porch, spread quickly and trapped tenants in the building. Killed were Byron Reed, 20, Sallie Gist, 19, and their sons Rayshawn Reed, 3, and Brian Reed, 3 days; as well as Sallie Gist’s twin brother and sister, Elijah Gist and Elisha Gist, 16; and family friend Tiera Davidson, 18.After the fire was set, it spread up the only staircase to the second floor, where those who died were sleeping. The victims died from carbon monoxide intoxication due to smoke inhalation, prosecutors said.

A jury took only 90 minutes late Monday afternoon to convict Myers of seven counts of murder–one for each of the victims, according to a release from the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Two days after the fire, three people reported to Cicero police they had heard Myers and Comier talking about burning down the building, authorities said.

Investigators “developed information that the homeowner and the maintenance man had conspired to burn down the building for the purposes of collecting insurance money,” Cicero Police Detective Joseph Melone said in a release Monday.

Police found “a cooperating witness who agreed to wear a wire and recorded many conversations that more than assisted in this investigation,” Melone said.

On one of the secretly recorded tapes, Myers told Comier that he shouldn’t have set the fire when so many people were home, prosecutors have said.

“It was done at the wrong time,” Myers complained to Comier, according to court documents. “I didn’t want any of this to happen.”

In conversations recorded on five separate days, Myers is heard complaining that Comier didn’t follow his instructions.

“I told him to do it in the afternoon before the kids came home from school,” Myers was quoted as saying in court documents. “I told him I’d give him $3,000. ‚Ķ I told him not to hurt anybody.”

Myers filed an insurance claim on the torched building soon after the blaze, prosecutors said.

After he was arrested, Myers confessed his role in the fire to detectives a few hours later and said he was motivated by his financial troubles, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said at the time.

Myers is set for sentencing Dec. 16 but faces a mandatory life sentence in the case, according to Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

thanks Dan