Murder suspect pleads guilty; receives life without parole
Ponca City Now - October 4, 2019 2:31 pm
HUGHES COUNTY, Okla. – The Hughes County man accused of murdering his father, 53-year-old Ronnie Key, and his grandmother, 73-year-old Kathryn Fritz, has plead guilty and received a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
On May 26, 2018, the Hughes County Sheriff’s Office requested OSBI assistance with the investigation of a double murder at a residential property in the 3000 block of Highway 48 in Holdenville. Ronnie Key’s wife came home to find his body on the front porch of their home. He had been shot and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. Fritz was found in a small house where she lived, also on the property. She had been shot and was deceased. Ronnie’s son, Rodney, was determined to be the prime suspect.
Rodney Key had been arrested in Pottawatomie County on May 26 after stealing his uncle’s truck and leading officers on a short chase. During the pursuit, Key crashed the truck and Shawnee police officers took him into custody. At that time, he was booked into the Pottawatomie County Detention Center for multiple charges.
On May 31, Key was charged with the murders of his father and grandmother. He faced four counts including:
(1) MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE – DELIBERATE INTENT
(2) MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE – DELIBERATE INTENT
(3) POSSESSION OF A FIREARM AFTER FORMER FELONY CONVICTION
(4) ROBBERY BY FORCE OR FEAR
This week, Key plead guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for counts one and two, 10 years in prison for count three, and life in prison for count four, all to be served consecutively. He has been remanded to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.