A Fort Smith-area man arrested on Monday in Tennessee admitted Thursday to killing the Sequoyah County Sheriff's father, officials said.
Authorities arrested Ricky Rainwater, 44, on Monday morning in Memphis after investigators that weekend reported they believed he robbed and killed Larry Lane Sr., the father of Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane, in Cherokee County. Rainwater on Thursday said he killed Lane Sr. without using a weapon, said Undersheriff Jason Chennault with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department.
"He admitted to putting Mr. Lane in a choke hold and strangling him," Chennault said.
Cherokee County investigators on Saturday told Lane his father was dead and that his truck was missing from his residence. Investigators believe Rainwater traveled from the Fort Smith area to Vian, traveled to Cherokee County with a truck he borrowed in Vian and robbed and killed Lane Sr., Chennault said.
After the incident, Rainwater used Lane Sr.'s credit card at several convenience stores between Talequah and Memphis, Chennault said. He said investigators tracked him through his transaction locations and on Monday apprehended Rainwater in Memphis and found Lane Sr.'s truck in West Memphis.
Rainwater on Monday was held in the Shelby County Detention Center awaiting extradition to Oklahoma. Cherokee County sheriff's Sgt. James Brown and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent Dale Fine on Wednesday interviewed Rainwater in Shelby County before he was transported back to Cherokee County.
Cherokee County officials have charged Rainwater with first-degree murder, robbery by force and fear and automobile theft. He remained in custody Thursday at the Cherokee County Detention Center without bond and with a hold in Sequoyah County for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.