Man threatened to set fire to family in Sept.; State’s Attorney orders review
The Cook County state’s attorney orders a complete review into how a man was able to set his girlfriend, her two kids, and himself on fire.
Nathaniel Beller, Taniya Johnson and one of their children were killed in a fire allegedly set by Beller last week in a Lawndale apartment. Another child is badly burned.
A police report shows back on September 9th, he filled a bathtub in his Cicero apartment with gasoline and threatened to torch the children.
Cicero police managed to negotiate the safe release of his children and took the mentally ill Beller into custody. There were no charges. Johnson failed to file a complaint.
Prosecutors with the Cook County State’s attorney decided against felony charges. That decision is now being questioned by the Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
In a written statement released late today, Alvarez said ” I have serious questions and concerns about how this case was reviewed for felony charges relating to the Sept. 9 incident involving defendant Nathaniel Beller. This case is a horrific tragedy involving the extremely complicated and challenging crime of domestic violence and the troubling and increasing prevalence of mental illness in criminal defendants. We are carefully reviewing how police, prosecutors and child welfare agencies responded.
This matter will be reviewed in its entirety and if individuals in this office need to be held accountable for their judgment that will certainly occur.”