Jury finds Catlett guilty of murder, sets down 65 year sentence

After a week-long trial and several hours of deliberation, a jury found Julius Catlett Jr. guilty in the 2016 murder of Shaun Smith in Christian Circuit Court.

It became emotional in the courtroom after Circuit Judge Andrew Self read the jury’s verdict aloud, which followed closing statements Friday morning.

Catlett is convicted of shooting Smith five times at a party on Younglove Street in September of 2016 and then fleeing to Indiana, where he was taken into custody ten days later. Smith’s mother, Sharon Etter, addressed the jury during the sentencing phase, asking for the maximum penalty and saying that her life has been forever changed by her son’s death.

Catlett’s mother, Paullette Owens, was able to address the jury and explain that her son is a quiet person with a family that loves him very much as well.

After more deliberation, the jury found Catlett also guilty of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and being a persistent felony offender in the second-degree. Altogether, the jury recommended a sentence of 65 years in prison.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Lynn Pryor says both she and Smith’s family are very pleased with the verdicts the jury made in this case.

Catlett will become eligible for parole after serving at least 20 years of that sentence and he will receive credit for time served.