04/12/2013 04:20 pm ET Updated Apr 12, 2013

Prince Watson Sentenced: Chicago Teen Gets 32 Years In Sally Katona-King's CTA Shoving Death

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An 18-year-old Chicago teen was sentenced to 32 years in prison after pleading guilty Friday to the 2011 shoving death of a 68-year-old church deacon.

According to NBC Chicago, Prince Watson was charged with first-degree murder and robbery in August 2011 in the March 2011 death of Sally Katona-King, who was killed when Watson pushed her down the stairs at the CTA's Fullerton train station after swiping an iPhone from another passenger and fleeing arrest.

In court Friday, Katona-King's daughter Kimberly Katona described her mother as a “genuine, creative spirit" who had an adversity-plagued past -- including the failure of her first marriage and the murder of her second husband in a 1971 armed robbery -- but went on to help others while serving as a deacon at First Evangelical Church in Logan Square, the Chicago Tribune reports. Katona-King had been on her way home from the church at the time of her death.

Watson, who was raised in the Cabrini-Green project by his grandmother, said in a letter read by his public defender that he "understand[s] what I did was wrong…I know I deserve punishment." He also apologized to Katona-King's family, according to CBS Chicago.

Watson has also been charged in two other iPhone robberies, one of which led to his arrest in Katona-King's murder. He was previously denied bail because a judge called him a "dangerous individual."

Katona-King was a mother of three who reportedly found the church in the 1980s, after her 2-year-old grandson died in a fire.


Crime In Chicago