Friday, January 17, 2020

Rainwater Convicted of Murder and Sentenced to Life in Prison

Ricky Rainwater

On Friday a jury found Richard "Ricky" Don Rainwater guilty of Second Degree Murder and First Degree Robbery for the murder and robbery of Larry Lane Sr. in 2018.

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 a recorded interview  and confession aired for jurors on Wednesday, 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.

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

The murder trial took place at the Cherokee County Courthouse in Tahlequah.

The Second Degree Murder conviction carries with it a sentence of life with a chance of parole. In Oklahoma Second Degree Murder is an 85 percent offense meaning Rainwater will serve a minimum of 38 years.

The First Degree Robbery conviction carries with it a 20 year sentence.

Sheriff Lane stated that he was pleased with the verdict although he would have preferred a First Degree Murder conviction. "A First Degree conviction would have meant that Rainwater would have had to serve life without parole. But hopefully the judge will set the two sentences to run consecutively and he will spend the rest of his life in prison," Sheriff Lane stated.

"Jack Thorpe and the entire prosecution team did a great job. They were very passionate and really fought for a conviction," Sheriff Lane added.

Lane also stated that there were other facts in the case that were not allowed to be admitted into evidence that he felt would have allowed for a First Degree Murder conviction. "If these things had been admitted into evidence I think he might have ended up with two life sentences," Sheriff Lane added.

Formal sentencing will be held on Feb. 20th. At that time the judge will decide if the two sentences will be served concurrently or consecutively. 

KXMX News Staff

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