Chicago Teen Gets 32 Years in Woman's Shoving Death

Prince Watson, 17, pleaded guilty to stealing a woman's phone on a Chicago train platform and pushing her down the stairs

A Chicago teen pleaded guilty Friday to the 2011 shoving death of a 68-year-old church deacon at a "L" train stop and was sentenced to 32 years in prison.

Prince Watson, 17, was charged with murder and robbery for pushing Sally Katona-King down a flight of stairs at the Chicago Transit Authority's Fullerton station on the city's North Side. He later was denied bail by a judge who called the teen "a dangerous individual."

The teen pleaded guilty to stealing an iPhone from Katona-King and pushing her as he ran away. King, a Lutheran deacon known for her work with the homeless, died from the fall.

Prosecutors said King suffered a fractured collar bone, skull, nose and ribs, as well as bleeding in her brain. They initially said Watson gave a videotaped confession and told police he heard screams but never turned around because he didn't want anyone to see his face.

Investigators said Watson committed two virtually identical crimes after the woman's death, stealing iPhones from commuters at the Sedgwick station on the CTA's Brown Line on April 17, 2011, and again at the Red Line's Clark and Division stop on May 15, 2011.

"That's how we became aware of him," said Area 3 detective Michele Wood. "We also became aware of him because an officer who saw one of the videos we had of the offender, thought it might be Prince Watson."

About 200 mourners gathered to remember Katona-King. Her daughter, Eileen Katona, said her mother was devoted to her community. She praised her art of baking and lamented that so many of the plans her mother had made for the year would not happen.

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