UPDATED: Mueller convicted of 3 charges of illegal wiretapping
The Hillsborough County Superior Court jury deliberated 50 minutes before returning verdicts on the three charges. Mueller, of Jackson, Wis., has maintained that he did nothing wrong and remained defiant as Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Michael Valentine said his intentions were 'to disrupt, to be disobedient, to slow down the court system and clog it.'
When Judge Kennth Brown asked Mueller - who represented himself - if he would agree to be sentenced Monday he snapped, 'I'm already in jail, we might as well get it over with.'
Mueller was found guilty of secretly recording conversations with Manchester police Capt. Jonathan Hopkins, Manchester High School West Principal MaryEllen McGorry and school secretary Denise Michael without their consent.
Mueller, who co-founded CopBlock.org, was seeking their comments on a video he posted on YouTube last Oct. 3. It showed a confrontation between West High student Frank Harrington III, 17, and police detective Darren Murphy in the school's cafeteria. Harrington was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. A police department internal review concluded Murphy did not use excessive force.
Security in the courtroom Monday was heavy, with five bailiffs and three sheriffs present. During the trial, the Free Staters in the gallery made comments and often refused to stand for the judge, announcing Meuller's entrance to the court with, 'All rise for Ademo!'
As the jury delivered the verdicts, Mueller's supporters sat in stunned silence as a woman began sobbing, holding her head in her hands. The Free Staters responded with muted 'boos' as the third verdict was read.
Mueller received a one- to three-year sentence on the first charge, with all but 90 days suspended, pending good behavior. He was allowed to serve the jail time concurrently with his present sentence from Manchester District Court for 'chalking' the Manchester police station, resulting in a net sentence of 85 days at the House of Corrections.
Two additional one- to three-year sentences were suspended.
Before sentencing was announced, Mueller's supporters tried to engage the bailiffs in conversation, talking about rights, liberties and the Constitution. Valentine, who had to walk through a swarm of Free Staters after the verdict to prepare sentencing papers, received cat calls and some taunts on his way downstairs.