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Man accused of killing roommate because he was making ‘loud noises’

Anthony Burns | Chicago police

A 58-year-old Englewood man allegedly shot his roommate to death because he was making “loud noises” and then dragged the roommate’s body down a flight of stairs and left it in the backyard.

Anthony Burns was denied bond for 52-year-old Robert Gardner’s murder when he appeared for a hearing Tuesday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse

Burns was awoken on Sunday morning by Gardner, who was “making loud noises and saying random things,” Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney James Murphy said. Burns first went to the living room, where Gardner had his bedroom set up and told him to “quiet down.”

Burns said Gardner pulled out a knife from under his pillow, so Burns went back to his bedroom, where he took his .357 revolver from underneath his bed, Murphy said.

Burns returned to the living room and held the gun to Gardner’s head with his finger on the trigger, Murphy said. Burns initially told detectives that Gardner reached for the gun and squeezed, causing it to go off, prosecutors said.

Gardner fell onto his bed and Burns pulled the trigger again, striking Gardner in the abdomen, Murphy said.

Burns later told detectives that he had not seen Gardner with a knife, Murphy said. Despite “an extensive search,” investigators found no knives in Gardner’s bedroom, but did find a pair of scissors on the floor of his room.

After killing Gardner, Burns dragged his body to a hallway and pushed it down a flight of stairs, Murphy said. Burns then allegedly pulled Gardner’s body out into the rear yard and left it. Burns also took the sheets from Gardner’s room and threw them away in a dumpster and placed Gardner’s mattress in an unused fourth bedroom, prosecutors said.

Burns hid the gun in a green bag in his closet and mopped the floor where a trail of blood was left by the shooting and the dragging of Gardner’s body, Murphy said.

A downstairs neighbor found Gardner’s body in the backyard about 8:30 a.m. and called police, who followed the trail of blood to the rear door, which was bolted from inside, Murphy said. Burns initially denied knowing what happened to Gardner, but later allegedly admitted to detectives that he had shot him. Burns showed detectives where the gun was, which held two fired shell casings and one live round, Murphy said.

Murphy said Burns made additional admissions during an interview with detectives about disposing of Gardner’s body.

An assistant public defender said Burns had been diagnosed with lupus and has an adult son.

Burns’ next court appearance was scheduled for April 29.