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Man gets 90-year sentence for role in fire that killed mom, daughter

Jovan Djurdjlov / phofrom Cook County Sheriff's office

Jovan Djurdjlov / photo from Cook County Sheriff's office

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Updated: May 11, 2014 9:55AM



Cindy Abarca said the last time she saw her pregnant older sister, she was showing off an expanding belly in a brown maternity blouse.

The expectant mother’s 7-year-old daughter, affectionately known as “Itza,” was equally excited about making the honor roll and being named student of the month.

Hours later, both mother and daughter were dead when a fire set by gang-bangers raged through their second-floor Albany Park apartment.

On Wednesday, Jovan Djurdjlov, the lookout in the deadly blaze, was sentenced to 90 years in prison.

The January 2009 fire was a “contemplated” act and Djurdjlov, a reputed member of the Spanish Cobras, never showed any remorse for his role in the deaths of Roxana Ocampo, 23, and Itzel Fernandez, Cook County Judge Lawrence Flood noted.

Court documents list Ocampo’s first name as Rosanna but family members refer to her as Roxana.

Djurdjlov, nicknamed “Yogi,” helped plan the fire in the three-flat in the 3900 block of West Argyle to settle an ongoing feud with the Spanish Gangster Disciples, prosecutors said.

Djurdjlov believed one of the rival gang members lived in the building and watched his accomplice go in with a bottle filled with gasoline, pour the gasoline on the inner stairwell and light it, prosecutors said.

At the time of Djurdjlov’s arrest, a second suspect was questioned and released.

Ocampo’s then 4-year-old son survived the fire. He is now nine and lives with his father, Abarca said Wednesday.

Abarca, 27, said Djurdjlov’s severe sentence was “bittersweet.”

Earlier this week, she read a victim-impact statement, saying 23-year-old Djurdjlov’s “vicious actions” took a piece of her family’s “heart” and destroyed their “happy home.”

“....Because that coward set the building on fire, my family and other families were left homeless, but we had the biggest loss without two beautiful girls. The defendant took their lives and every material thing as well. We don’t have clothes, teddy bears, pictures, nothing — it was all burnt to ashes....,” Abarca said.

“....I beg you to please do not let him [Djurdjlov] be free soon. He doesn’t care. He will do it again.”

Email: rhussain@suntimes.com

Twitter: @rummanahussain



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