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February 5, 2014

Celeste police chief commits suicide

CELESTE — Celeste Chief of Police Roger Eugene Mueller III has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Mueller was awaiting trial on two counts of indecency with a child.

Hunt County District Attorney Noble D. Walker Jr. said he was notified of Mueller’s death Monday night.

“I got a call at around 8 p.m. that he had commited suicide,” Walker said.

Mueller had pleaded not guilty to two indictments of alleged indecency with a child by sexual contact. Mueller was scheduled to appear for a pretrial hearing Tuesday in the 354th District Court. A trial date had been scheduled for Feb. 24. Mueller was suspended from his position pending the disposition of the court case.

Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said his office was contacted at around 7:45 p.m. Monday of a gunshot victim at Mueller’s residence. Mueller was transported by ambulance to the Hunt Regional Medical Center in Greenville.

“He didn’t make it,” Meeks said. “He died after they got him to the hospital.”

Meeks said his deputies secured the scene and the investigation of the incident was turned over to the Texas Rangers.

Texas Rangers Sgt. Lonny Haschel said the Celeste Police Department was called to to the residence on North U.S. Highway 69 and found Mueller in his back yard suffering from a gunshot wound.

“The Hunt County American Medical Response and the Celeste Fire Department also responded,” Haschel said. “The police department requested that the Texas Rangers investigate. At this point, no foul play is suspected, but the incident is currently under investigation by the Rangers.”

The indictments alleged Mueller touched the breast(s) of a girl of less than 17 years of age on June 1, 2012 and on May 30, 2013.

The indictments were filed as second degree felonies, each punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from two to 20 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000.

Mueller was also at one time employed as a security officer at the Hunt County Courthouse.

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