Man charged with killing mother’s boyfriend, burning body

Manuel Hunter, 20, is charged with first-degree murder and arson in the death of 41-year-old David Marshall.

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A woman was shot dead April 27, 2022, in Belmont Cragin.

Manuel Hunter, 20, is charged with murder and arson in the death of 41-year-old David Marshall.

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Friday morning, an Englewood woman said goodbye to her dozing boyfriend and chatted with her 20-year-old son before she left for work.

Hours later, she got a chilling call from her landlord: There had been a fire in her apartment, and there was a body on the back porch, Cook County prosecutors said Monday.

The body was of the woman’s boyfriend, 41-year-old David Marshall. The woman’s son, Manuel Hunter, was nowhere to be found.

Marshall died of blunt force trauma to the head, and had no smoke in his lungs, an indication he was set ablaze after he was killed, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

Firefighters had moved Marshall’s body to the porch after arriving to find him on a smoldering couch in the living room, as well an apparently blood-stained brick nearby, Murphy said. Police also found a rag and a bottle of lighter fluid stained with blood in the apartment, in the 5900 block of South Union.

Manuel Hunter, 20, is charged with murder and arson in the death of 41-year-old David Marshall.

Manuel Hunter, 20, is charged with murder and arson in the death of 41-year-old David Marshall.

Chicago police

Hours after firefighters found Marshall, Hunter pounded on the door at a relative’s house, asking to use the shower, Murphy said. When police — tipped off by Hunter’s mother — showed up at the relative’s house, they spotted blood on Hunter’s socks and his work boots, Murphy said.

Hunter, who has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia, was ordered held without bail Monday on first-degree murder and arson charges.

Hunter has struggled with mental health issues for years, and had been hospitalized multiple times, as recently as last fall, his mother told police. His trips to the hospital typically came after he had gone prolonged periods without taking prescribed medication, Murphy said. Hunter’s mother told police he had stopped taking his medication in September.

At the time of last week’s murder, Hunter was on bond for a 2018 aggravated battery of a police officer, Murphy said. In that case, Hunter sprinted across the street in front of a marked police car, then allegedly punched and kneed an officer who tried to stopped him.

Five years ago, Hunter used a hair product to set a cousin’s feet on fire, and was kicked out of high school in North Dakota for starting a fire in a bathroom, Murphy added.

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