Man sentenced for murder in Clay County

Man sentenced for murder in Clay County

CORNING, AR (KAIT) - A Clay County jury found a northeast Arkansas man guilty of first-degree murder Friday afternoon, 2nd Judicial District Prosecutor Scott Ellington told Region 8 News.

Bryan Curtis was also sentenced to prison for 25 years on the charges. The jury deliberating for nearly an hour before handing down their sentence.

Bryan Curtis was arrested last year on suspicion of first-degree murder in connection with the death of James Prater. Officials said both Clay County deputies and Corning police went to the 800 block of 6th Street June 12 after getting a call about the shooting.

Jury selection took place Wednesday, according to Ellington. Ellington said four men and eight women served as jury members in the murder case.

Opening statements took place Thursday.

Prater was found shot to death in the street, Corning Police Chief Jimmy Leach said, noting Curtis and another woman were also at the scene. Curtis told authorities that he shot Prater but did not give a reason, Leach said.

"He gave no reasoning, supposedly the victim didn't really even know the suspect and vice versa," Leach said last summer. "They didn't know each other."

Curtis was being held in the Clay County jail on a $500,000 bond.

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