Thursday, January 16, 2020

Jurors Hear Confession in Lane Trial

Richard "Ricky" Don Rainwater

Jurors in the murder trial of the man accused of killing Larry Lane Sr. in 2018 heard the man’s confession Wednesday.

Lane, the father of Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane, was strangled in 2018 during an apparent robbery at his home in the Keys community. 

In the recorded interview aired for jurors, Richard “Ricky” Don Rainwater told investigators he placed a chokehold on the elder Lane until he went limp. The medical examiner ruled Lane died of strangulation.

Watching the trial is difficult, the sheriff said. "The first day was really tough … a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be." He has been in court since the trial began Jan. 13.

On Wednesday, the defense attorney asked the Cherokee County investigator why he did not immediately consider Larry Lane Sr.'s death a homicide. The investigator testified that there were no obvious signs of foul play. Suspicions increased after it was learned Lane's debit card and truck were missing. 

"When the investigator called me from the house and told me there was no debit card in there, I knew my dad always had a debit card and I knew that he always kept a fair amount of cash in there," Larry Lane Jr. said. "There wasn't cash and his cell phone was gone and his truck was gone. I knew right then something was wrong."

Rainwater was arrested Sept. 3, 2018, at a mental health hospital in Memphis.

Closing arguments are expected to begin Friday morning at the Cherokee County Courthouse in Tahlequah.

If convicted, Rainwater faces life in prison without parole.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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