By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – An Oklahoma City woman has been sentenced to 17 years in state prison for causing the drug overdose death of a fellow Canadian County inmate.
Cydnei Tysha Mitchell, 31, was convicted in Canadian County District Court of felony first-degree murder and bringing contraband into jail. She pleaded no contest at an Oct. 28 court hearing, where she appeared with attorney Jason Spanich.
Mitchell brought drugs into the Canadian County Jail, which directly led to the fatal overdose of inmate Kristina Marie Franz, 29. Jail staff found Franz in her cell March 5.
Canadian County Special Judge Charles Gass has sentenced Mitchell to serve a life sentence on the murder charge, with the first 17 years in prison and the balance suspended. She will be supervised by the state Department of Corrections while on probation after her release.
Judge Gass then sentenced Mitchell to five years in prison on the jail contraband charge. Sentencings on both counts will run concurrent to each other.
Further, the judge accelerated a previous deferred sentence to five years in prison in a 2019 felony case. That sentence will run concurrent to the 2022 case, and Mitchell was given credit for time served.
She had faced the death penalty or life in prison for committing the murder and five to 20 years in prison for bringing the drugs into the jail.
Mitchell, who was booked March 4 into the Canadian County Jail, will be transferred to state prison.
She had been serving 30 days on weekends in the county jail as part of a two-year deferred sentence for exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult by deception or intimidation.
VICTIM WAS ACCUSED MURDERER
Franz, of Oklahoma City, died March 6 at an Oklahoma City hospital.
She was being held without bond at the Canadian County Jail on first-degree murder and third-degree arson charges stemming from an October 2020 incident near Mustang.
That case was dismissed March 10, about three weeks before a trial was set to begin.
Franz was accused of the Oct. 4, 2020, murder of Richard Pierce, 42.
She allegedly shot Pierce in the head with a handgun, killing him, while she and accomplice Johnathon Reese Erickson were committing an armed robbery.
Pierce’s body was found burned beyond recognition in a car fire near S.W. 104th and Morgan Road in southeast Canadian County.
Oklahoma City Police arrested Franz and Erickson three days later at an Oklahoma City apartment complex.
Investigators found a 25-caliber semi-automatic pistol and several items stolen from the victim in Franz’s apartment.
Erickson, 30, previously pleaded guilty to the felony offense of accessory to first-degree murder. District Judge Paul Hesse sentenced him to 10 years in prison, with two years of supervised probation.