Sebastian County Circuit Judge Michael Fitzhugh on Thursday overturned a jury’s recommendation that Ryan Saige Oxford's sentences stemming from a Jan. 14 shooting death run concurrently.
Oxford was sentenced to a total of 78 years in prison for his part in the Jan. 14 gang shooting of Justin Lopez in a camper trailer behind a house at 2315 N. Ninth St.
After a two-day trial this week, with additional deliberations Wednesday morning, jurors found Oxford guilty of second-degree murder and terroristic acts. The jury recommended that Oxford’s sentences in connection with the killing not run consecutively: 20 years for second-degree murder; 20 years for terroristic act with a firearm; and 38 years for additional terroristic act enhancements.
Sebastian County Prosecutor Dan Shue said Thursday that Fitzhugh’s final ruling was to run the sentences consecutively.
Oxford, now 20 and clean cut, is one of four Slangaz96 gang members charged in Lopez's death. Two of the gang members, Bryan Porras and Alberto Chavez, shot more than 30 rounds into a camper trailer behind a home at 2315 N. Ninth St. in Fort Smith. Lopez, 18, and Trey Miller, then 20, were in the trailer and reported to be members of a rival gang, Cloutboys. One bullet struck Lopez in the brain stem and killed him.
Porras, 19, and Chavez, 19, used AK-47 and AR-15 semi-automatic rifles supplied by Oxford, a former employee of Midland Pawn, who was “blessed” into the gang late last year, according to suspected shooting accomplice and Slangaz96 gang member Jorge Chirinos, 17. Chirinos is charged as an adult for first-degree murder and terroristic acts.
Oxford said he never knew why they were going to the trailer, but admitted to serving as the “getaway” driver after the shooting. According to testimony by Chirinos, they returned to a wedding party at the Fort Smith Convention Center in the attempt to establish an alibi.
According to a Fort Smith Police Vice Unit officer, the Slangaz and Cloutboys are actually a “hybrid gang” section of the Florencia 13, aka FX13, and the local factions were created several years ago.
A jury convicted Porras of first-degree murder in November with sentencing of 123 years in prison. Chavez was subsequently convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 80 years in prison.