http://www.wandtv.com/global/story.asp?s=10293407BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. (AP) - Cook County authorities have filed arson charges against a man who spent several months in the hospital after a natural gas explosion that partially destroyed his home in suburban Buffalo Grove.
Prosecutors say 41-year-old Michael Cheney became despondent when his girlfriend left him last November, so he turned on the gas in the home they shared, and called friends to tell them he was committing suicide. The friends called 911, but when Cheney heard an ambulance approaching, he lit a cigarette lighter, igniting the gas.
The resulting explosion blew out the windows and part of the roof, and burned Cheney on the face and body.
He was charged Friday with residential arson and released on $80,000 bond.
http://www.suntimes.com/news/24-7/15...rson03.articleAfter his girlfriend left him last November, Michael Cheney turned on the gas in his Buffalo Grove home. As he waited to die, Cheney, 41, called friends to say he was committing suicide. They called 911.
When Cheney heard the sirens, he flicked a cigarette lighter and the gas exploded, blowing out windows and part of the roof. Cheney survived but suffered burns on his face and body and was hospitalized until January.
Cheney was charged Friday with residential arson, which carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years. Residential arson involves setting fire to another's dwelling. Prosecutors told the court they picked that charge because his girlfriend had an interest in the home. But attorney Joseph Di Natale argued Cheney should face a simple arson charge because he paid the mortgage.
Cheney, who was ordered to continue psychiatric care, was released after posting 10 percent of an $80,000 bond