Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Mueller Gets 65 Years in Prison ; He Was Convicted of Killing Henderson Man

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Mueller Gets 65 Years in Prison ; He Was Convicted of Killing Henderson Man

Article excerpt

Felicia Hill sobbed Tuesday as she told Vanderburgh Superior Court Judge Robert Pigman how her son Cedric Watt texted her to say good night only hours before he was murdered on Sept. 17. After emotional testimony from Watt's mother and his stepfather, Ricky Hill, Pigman sentenced 22-year-old Ted Mueller Jr. to a total of 65 years in prison on murder and robbery charges in Watt's death.

"We always tried to text every day or every other day," Felicia Hill said.

She said her last text from Watt, a Henderson, Ky., resident, at 11:49 p.m. Sept. 16, read: "love you, night night."

According to Evansville Police Department reports, Watt was shot shortly after 3 a.m. Sept. 17. Hill said she found out Watt had been murdered when her husband came to her work to tell her later that morning.

"Cedric wasn't always perfect. He didn't always make good decisions, but he loved his family," she said.

In the weeks before his death, she said Watt spoke about wanting to move to Arizona, where his cousin lived, to "get away from trouble and start over."

Those plans were cut short when Mueller shot Watt once from behind as Watt, 23, fled from him on a dark block of Delaware Street during what police and prosecutors contended was an attempt to rob him of marijuana he was selling.

A jury convicted Mueller of murder and conspiracy to commit robbery causing death, a Class A felony, after a four-day trial in March. However, on Tuesday Pigman changed the robbery charge to a Class C felony, removing the causing death language, to comply with the state's double jeopardy protections.

"You can't be charged with two crimes from the same action," said

Deputy Prosecutor Levi Burkett.

Pigman sentenced Mueller to 60 years for murder and five years on the robbery charge - both greater than what the state recommended - and ordered the sentences served consecutively. …

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