Bail remains high for accused arsonist
By Janet Lundquist firstname.lastname@example.org October 23, 2013 9:04PM
A man accused of blowing up his own house this summer, possibly to cover up evidence of a murder or commit suicide, appeared in Will County court Wednesday on arson charges. | Janet Lundquist~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 25, 2013 1:29PM
A man accused of blowing up his own house this summer appeared in Will County court Wednesday on arson charges.
James J. Borg, 44, still is receiving medical treatment for burns over 70 percent of his body, said his attorney, Ryan S. Kosztya.
Borg, who is facing three counts of aggravated arson and one count of residential arson in connection with the July 14 blaze, didn’t speak while he appeared in court via a video feed from the jail.
His bond remained set at $750,000, and his next court date was set for Nov. 15.
Police consider Borg the main suspect in the disappearance of his live-in girlfriend, Anne Gay, 52, a waitress who has not been heard from since June 10. He has not been charged in connection with her disappearance.
Borg was arrested on the arson charges Tuesday morning as he left the Rehab Institute of Chicago.
As a condition of his bond, Judge Roger Rickmon on Wednesday ordered Borg to have no contact with Daniel Murphy, who owns the property at 135 SE Circle Dr. in Joliet Township, and Juanita Crisostomo, who lived next door to him.
No one besides Borg was at the rented home when it exploded, and he was dragged out of the wreckage by a neighbor. Four people were inside the house next door, but they were not injured.
Kosztya said Borg hasn’t been bothering Murphy or Crisostomo.
“He was in a coma for two months. He hasn’t been contacting anyone,” Kosztya said.
Authorities concluded that the blast resulted from Borg allegedly tampering with the dryer’s gas line, which was cut deliberately and the valve left “wide open.”
About a month before the blast, Gay’s coworkers became concerned when Gay failed to show up for her shifts at Louis’ Restaurant in Joliet and asked police to check on her. Gay’s daughter filed a missing persons report.
Authorities have described the couple’s relationship as “contentious.” Gay was in the process of moving out when she disappeared.
A source close to the investigation has said cadaver dogs alerted inside the house during the search, but no body was found. Authorities said that “evidence of a struggle” was found inside, but offered no further details.
Deputies were called to Borg’s house for 13 domestic disputes since January, the last one hours before Gay made her last known phone calls to friends.
Borg also is awaiting sentencing on a separate case, after being found guilty of threatening to kill a neighbor and reckless driving during an incident in September 2012.