Grant Muren (DuPage County sheriff’s office)

DuPage County prosecutors will not be allowed to review psychological medical records of a man in advance of his sentencing for the strangulation of his Naperville roommate, a judge ruled Friday.

Agreeing with privacy concerns expressed by the attorney for Grant Muren, Judge Brian Telander turned down a prosecution request to review records of Muren’s stay at a Chicago behavioral hospital.

Muren, 24, is scheduled to be sentenced March 1 on an aggravated arson conviction and the second-degree murder of Charles Clark, 54, whom Muren choked to death in Clark’s townhouse in January 2014.

Assistant State’s Attorney Enza LaMonica told the judge during a Friday hearing that prosecutors want to review the records of Muren’s treatment to help them obtain a more complete picture of Muren. But attorney Paul DeLuca said the request violated Muren’s right to privacy.

"My client has some protections," DeLuca told the judge.

The nature and dates of Muren’s stay at the hospital were not disclosed at the hearing.

Muren, who previously lived in the St. Charles area, was found guilty of the murder and arson charges in September. He had rented a room in Clark’s townhouse and within a few hours of moving in on Jan. 20, 2014, had killed Clark during an altercation.

According to testimony at the trial, the two men had been drinking heavily and had engaged in some sexual contact —which Muren said was not consensual — before Muren struck Clark with a heavy tray table and strangled him. Afterward, Muren tried to light the townhouse on fire, authorities said, by stuffing his lease paperwork into Clark’s toaster and turning on the gas stove.

Prosecutors charged Muren with first-degree murder, but the Telander, who heard the bench trial, found him guilty of second-degree murder. The judge ruled that Muren believed he was acting in self-defense when he killed Clark, but his belief was unreasonable. There was defense testimony from witnesses who said they had been victims of past violence, or had seen violence, perpetrated by Clark.

Muren faces anywhere from six to 50 years in prison, with a 30-year maximum for the arson and a 20-year maximum for the second-degree murder. By law, Muren will have to serve the terms consecutively. He has been incarcerated in the DuPage County jail almost three years, and that jail time will be deducted from his prison sentence.

Clifford Ward is a freelance reporter.

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