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A jury determined that a Nevada man responsible for the murder and sexual assault of a teen girl more than two years ago should spend life in prison for the crime.
Bryce Dickey, 20, was found guilty Thursday of fatally stabbing Gabrielle “Britney” Ujlaky in 2020. His nine-day trial culminated in convictions for first-degree murder with the use of a deadly weapon and sexual assault with the use of a deadly weapon, according to the Elko County District Attorney’s Office.
On Monday, the jury handed down a penalty verdict of life in prison with the possibility of parole. Jurors have yet to issue a verdict on the sexual assault conviction. The judge in the case will then determine a final sentence, factoring in the jury's penalty verdicts, as well as the deadly weapon enhancements on the two charges, the district attorney's office said.
Dickey “choked,” “stabbed,” and raped the 16-year-old, according to the criminal complaint in the case. DNA evidence belonging to Dickey was later found on a used condom near Ujlaky’s remains. A pair of bloody boots found in Dickey’s closet also further linked him to Ujlaky’s slaying.
The pair were friends, however, Ujlaky’s friends and family said Dickey previously admitted feelings for the teenager, but was rejected by her. At the time of her death, Ujlaky’s family insisted she wasn't sexually active. Dickey allegedly attended a public memorial for Ujlaky attended by her friends and family before his arrest.
Ujlaky’s family slammed the jury's sentencing decision as too lenient Monday, particularly in regards to Dickey’s future parole eligibility.
“The fact that he gets the option to ask for a second chance is mind-blowing,” Alisha Ujlaky, Gabrielle’s mother, told Oxygen.com. “I wanted him to never, ever have the possibility to get out and hurt another person — another female — ever again.”
The grieving 44-year-old mom described the trial proceedings as “brutal,” adding that Dickey, who she once described as a “big brother” to her daughter, showed no remorse in court.
“He didn’t show any emotion to me,” she said. “None at all. I delivered an impact statement that I feel was extremely powerful and he just looked me dead in the face like a stone gargoyle — nothing.”
Ujlaky’s family is already dreading the possibility of having to relive the teenager’s death if Dickey is able to petition for his parole in 2042.
“For us, this never ends now,” Alisha Ujlkay said. “Now there’s always a possibility that in 20 years, we get to rip this nightmare wide open again and revisit the God-awful tragedy to try to keep him in prison. … I will fight for my daughter and I will fight to keep him behind bars until I quit breathing but there’s just no relief.”
Alisha Ujlaky described her daughter as a “bright, beautiful light,” who loved horses, ranching, rodeos, and riding ATVs.
“The past two years have been surviving, not living,” she said. “Our lives have been very dark and chaotic without our Britney in them.”
The jury is expected to reach a verdict on Dickey’s sentence on the sexual assault charge on Aug. 2.
Gary Woodbury, Dickey’s public defender, wasn’t immediately available for comment when contacted by Oxygen.com.
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