A Pine Bluff teenager serving a prison sentence of life plus 90 years failed to convince the Arkansas Supreme Court that he was wrongly convicted.

Robert T. Smith III, was convicted of capital murder, kidnapping, aggravated robbery and theft of property in Faulkner County Circuit Court stemming from the death of Elvia Fragstein, 72, who was kidnapped on the parking lot of a shopping center in Conway on July 7, 2018 and whose body was found on a farm road just outside Pine Bluff July 11. Her vehicle was found burned in a secluded area of Pine Bluff a week later.

At the trial, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Erickson testified that the cause of death was blunt force trauma of the chest, blunt force trauma of the cervical spine and strangulation.

Smith, who was 16 at the time, and a co-defendant, Tacori Mackrell, were identified during the investigation and when officers served a search warrant at Smith’s residence, they recovered a pair of Nike shoe  that appeared to have blood stains on them. The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory confirmed that the blood matched Fragstein’s DNA.

Testifying in his own defense, Smith testified that he drove Fragstein’s vehicle back to Pine Bluff and said Mackrell was in the back seat “crouching over something” but he could not tell if it was a person and did not hear Fragstein make a sound or move.

After jury deliberations, he was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to life imprisonment plus 90 years.