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Press Release

Cicero Man Sentenced To 40 Years In Prison For Arson That Killed Man Sleeping In Adjacent Apartment In 2012

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A Cicero man was sentenced today to 40 years in federal prison for setting fire in January 2012 to his estranged girlfriend’s southwest side apartment that resulted in killing a man sleeping in the apartment next door. The defendant, JUAN ADAME, was convicted of federal arson in October 2013 after a week-long trial in U.S. District Court.

Adame, 41, who has been in federal custody since he was arrested in March 2012, must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence. He is subject to two years of court supervision and deportation after any release.

Citing Adame’s history of domestic violence, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber said the “tragic consequences” of the case called for Adame to be incapacitated to prevent him from committing future crimes. Adame was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $306,006.

According to court records and the evidence at trial, at approximately 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 14, 2012, Adame used gasoline to start a fire in the second-floor rear apartment of a building at 4246 West 63rd St., which contained two one-bedroom apartments on the second floor and commercial space on the ground floor. Adame had an ongoing domestic dispute with a woman who occasionally occupied the apartment where the fire began but who was not there at the time of the fire. The victim, James “Jimmy” Maca, 60, the sole occupant of the front apartment unit, died as a result of carbon monoxide intoxication and inhalation of smoke and soot.

“Jimmy Maca left behind friends and loving family members, including two siblings and a niece who attended every day of [Adame’s] trial. The lifelong impact of [his] crime on Jimmy Maca’s friends and family is indescribable,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michelle Nasser and Bethany Biesenthal argued in seeking a sentence of at least 40 years in prison. Maca’s brother, sister, and landlord each provided victim impact statements at today’s sentencing hearing.

The sentence was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Carl J. Vasilko, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Garry F. McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The Chicago Fire Department’s Office of Fire Investigation and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Division of Arson Investigation assisted the Chicago Police Department’s Bomb and Arson Section and ATF in the investigation.

Updated July 23, 2015