Ohio Man Charged in Rogers Park Double Murder

Dejuan Pratt, 24, ordered held without bond after former roommates found slain in burned home

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dejuan Pratt is accused of stabbing his roommates, setting fire to their apartment and then using their credit cards to pay for a Las Vegas party. Natalie Martinez reports.

    An Ohio man has been charged with allegedly stabbing his former roommates and setting their Rogers Park apartment on fire.

    Dejuan Pratt, 24, of the 800 block of North Bernhard, in Columbus, was ordered held without bond during a court appearance Wednesday.

    A 64-year-old man and 48-year-old woman on Aug. 28 were found in their unit on the 6400 block of North Sacramento after authorities were called to a fire at the home.

    The pair -- Gary Brown, 64, and Chun Xiao Lee, 48 -- died from multiple stab wounds, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said.

    Pratt was caught Monday at O'Hare International Airport with the victims' credit cards and one of their vehicles after partying in Las Vegas, police said.

    The executive director of the Howard Area Community Center, where Brown worked, said his former colleague would have given money to anyone who needed it.

    "He worked so closely with the people that came to us for computer skills, for help with résumés. He had a tremendous amount of patience," said Bruce Rasey.

    A defense attorney said authorities have the wrong guy.

    "It may be a connection between Mr. Pratt -- allegedly between Mr. Pratt and any type of proceeds to the crime, but that certainly doesn't mean that Mr. Pratt committed any of these heinous offenses," said public defender Julie Koehler.

    He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of armed robbery, two counts of unlawful possession of a credit card, aggravated identity theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and aggravated arson. He also was charged with disorderly conduct for falsely reporting an offense.

    Pratt had lived with Brown and Lee not long before the murders, officials said.