A Sebastian County jury found Brandon Fritts guilty of first degree murder and sentenced him to life in prison Tuesday, according to the prosecuting attorney’s office.
Fritts, 30, of Sallisaw, Okla., was accused of shooting Jamie Lee Czeck, 36, of Kibler, to death in an alley off S. 17th and Q Streets in Fort Smith on Jan. 3.
The jury deliberated the verdict for about an hour and a half, according to Chief Deputy Prosecutor Linda Ward. The jury deliberated the sentence for about 45 minutes.
Fritts was already in the state prison system serving 20 years for a previous parole violation, Ward said.
Czeck was found shot multiple times, including at least twice in the head, by a couple looking for rental property in the area, according to police.
Fritts was developed as a suspect after authorities interviewed several "associates" of the two men, police said. An warrant was issued in late January and police found a .9mm pistol believed to be used in the shooting in Fritts' father's home. He was incarcerated at the time on unrelated drug charges in Sequoyah County.
The murder trial began Monday.
In June, while awaiting trial at the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center Fritts used a sharp plastic object to stab another inmate in the neck and arm, according to Major Kevin Nickson with the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office.
Fritts confessed to stabbing the other inmate and said the fight stemmed from an incident that happened prior to both of them being incarcerated, Nickson said.