Man pleads guilty in death of woman's husband

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PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — A Nevada man has accepted a plea bargain, saying in court that he and a Prescott woman smothered her ailing husband as he lay in bed.

Charles William Todd, 63, of Henderson pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder. He faces at least 15 years in prison when sentenced, The Daily Courier ( ) reported.

Todd had been charged with first-degree murder in the November 2012 death of 52-year-old David Mueller, Cynthia Mueller's husband.

She is charged with first-degree murder and other crimes but has denied involvement in her husband's death.

Police say David Mueller suffered from a degenerative neuromuscular disease and was under his wife's care when he died.

Todd said he and Cynthia Mueller were having an affair and that she asked him to help kill her husband.

Cynthia Mueller denies that, and she cried in Yavapai County Superior Court on Wednesday as Todd described how he put a plastic bag over David Mueller's head and helped her to suffocate him.

He said she "freaked out" and ran from the bedroom, leaving him to "clean up" the scene.

After accepting Todd's guilty plea, Judge Jennifer Campbell considered defense motions that include one to suppress evidence of Mueller's online dating activities.

Defense attorney Greg Clark said the information was irrelevant, but prosecutor Steve Young said it was relevant because Cynthia Mueller had told people before her husband's death that he was already dead.

Campbell said she'll rule after she examines the evidence.

Clark also said he wanted to see evidence that there was a homicide.

"The (county's) medical examiner was unable to determine a cause of death," he said. "They have a medical examiner who can't say it's a homicide, and I have a defendant who says, 'I didn't do it.'"

Young said David's regular doctor would not sign off on the death certificate because he didn't believe David Mueller's illness was advanced enough to kill him.

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