An Egg Harbor Township man who murdered a gun shop clerk more than 20 years ago was sentenced Friday to 35 years in prison, according to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.

Jarrod Sayers, 37, was 15 when he shot Walter Lee, 49, acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said in a release. Sayers was waived up and tried as an adult in criminal court, but after being evaluated by doctors, he was deemed incompetent to stand trial. He has been committed to a psychiatric hospital for the past 20 years.

In July, reports by three doctors, hired by the defense, the prosecution, and the state, showed Sayers was competent to stand trial. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

Sayers was trying to steal guns and ammunition from Zeus Sporting Goods, where Lee was employed, on June 10, 1991. Lee died shortly after sustaining a gunshot wound to the chest.

“At sentencing this morning, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Pam D’Arcy introduced the family members and friends of Mr. Lee to the court and pointed out that for 21 years of competency hearings and court proceedings, they were always present,” the release said. “Today, as usual, many of the victim’s friends and family members were present in court, including; the victim’s brother, sister, best friend and the present owner of Zeus Sporting Goods.”

Contact David Simpson:

609-272-7204