The suspect in the death of Larry Lane Sr., father of Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane Jr., has confessed to killing the elder Lane by strangulation.
Ricky Don Rainwater Jr., 44, was returned to Cherokee County on Wednesday by Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) officers and members of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, said District Attorney Jack Thorp.
The OSBI is assisting with the investigation into Lane’s death. He was found in his home in Keys on Saturday.
According to reports, Rainwater said he knew Lane and called him for help because he was lost on Saturday. It was reported that Rainwater confessed to strangling Lane, but Thorp said the investigation was ongoing and he was not prepared to confirm a confession.
Thorp said he was waiting on a probable cause affidavit from investigators to file charges against Rainwater in Cherokee County District Court.
“I anticipate first-degree murder charges,” Thorp said, “but I may file a felony murder count.”
A felony murder count covers that scenario when a murder is committed during the commission of a felony, such as robbery.
Thorp said he is also waiting on an official cause of death report from the state medical examiner’s office, but a preliminary report suggests Lane was strangled.
Rainwater was arrested in Memphis on Monday, and investigators found Lane Sr.’s vehicle parked in West Memphis. It is believed that Rainwater stole Lane Sr.’s vehicle, cash and credit cards before driving to Memphis where he checked himself into a mental health facility, where he was arrested.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
For more news stories stay tuned to The MIX 105.1 or visit www.kxmx.com