The trial for the 2 individuals accused on Jason’s murder is scheduled to start on Tuesday, May 17th, 2011.  The trial will be held in the courtroom of Judge Stanley Sacks, Room 602 at 26th and California.  The trial is open to anyone who would like to attend.

A pizzeria manager was mistakenly killed last summer by gang members out for revenge, Chicago police said this morning in announcing murder charges against two suspects.

Bail was set this afternoon at $1 million each for alleged gang members Gabriel Contreras, 26, of the 1300 block of West Huron Street, and Anthony Collazo, 17, of the 1500 block of North Leavitt Street, charged in connection with the slaying of 29-year-old Jason Mueller as he was attempting to find a cab during the early morning hours of Aug. 10 near Grand and Wolcott Avenues.

Mueller, who helped operate Nonna's Pizza in the Old Town neighborhood, was apparently walking to Grand Avenue to catch a cab home after escorting home a friend, with whom he had been drinking, when he was shot in the street. 

"This guy had zero enemies," Walt Oestmann, a roommate and a fraternity brother from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, told the Tribune shortly after the shooting. 

During the course of their investigation, police learned that Contreras had been shot in the arm about a month prior to Mueller's slaying as he was trying to shoot a rival gang member near Damen and Race Avenues, police said. 

On the morning of Mueller's slaying, Contreras and Collazo approached Mueller, believing he was a member of the same gang responsible for shooting Contreras, police said.  Prosecutors said Collazo shot Mueller three times, fatally wounding him in the face, chest and buttock.

Mueller did not have any gang affiliations or a criminal record, police said.

Contreras' criminal background includes a 1999 armed robbery conviction for which he was sentenced to 6 years in prison, court records show.  He was also sentenced to 3 years in prison for a 2007 felony drug conviction, for which he is currently on parole, according to the records.

Mueller's friends and relatives had offered a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrests of his killers.

Mueller grew up in the Mt. Greenwood neighborhood on the Far Southwest Side before graduating from the U. of  I. and attending graduate business classes at DePaul University, Oestmann said.

With a friend's financial help, Mueller helped open Nonna's in late 2007.

Contreras and Collazo are due back in court on March 10.

--Jeremy Gorner and Matthew Walberg

Published in the Chicagobreakingnews.com 2/20/09


Our goal is to do everything we can to generate information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the persons responsible for the murder of Jason Mueller.

On August 10, 2008, at approximately 6:00 AM, Jason Mueller was brutally murdered at the intersection of Grand and Wolcott in Chicago after helping a friend home. Witnesses reported hearing gun shots and seeing two men fleeing the scene on foot after committing the murderous act.  Jason was one week shy of his 30th birthday.  The murder remains unsolved.

Our goal is to do everything we can to generate information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the persons responsible for the murder of Jason Mueller.

Jason had an entrepreneurial spirit.  Jason graduated from the University of Illinois and DePaul University with a Masters degree in business. In 2007, Jason left his corporate position for the opportunity to operate Nonna’s Italian Pizza, a new restaurant located in Old Town in Chicago.  With Jason’s dedication and fortitude he was able to put Nonna’s Pizza on the map winning the 2008 Chicago’s Pizza Fest Award for “Best Deep Dish” and “Best Gourmet Pizza”.

Jason’s attributes could fill a phonebook, from his dedication to his work, to his enthusiastic support of his favorite sports teams and his teammates in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood where Jason grew up.  The one attribute that stands out most of people who knew Jason was his devotion to his family and friends, and his wide eyed smile.

Jason’s family and friends greatly appreciate your support as we continue to search and raise awareness to bring those responsible for the murder of Jason Mueller to justice.