FORT SMITH (AP) — A Fort Smith-area man has admitted to the slaying of an Oklahoma sheriff's father, according to authorities.
Police arrested Ricky Rainwater on Monday after investigators suspected he robbed and killed Larry Lane Sr. over the weekend in Cherokee County, Oklahoma. Lane is the father of Sheriff Larry Lane Jr. of Sequoyah County, Oklahoma. He has since been charged with first-degree murder, robbery by force and fear, and automobile theft.
Rainwater, 44, told authorities Thursday that he killed Lane Sr. without a weapon, Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault told the Times Record .
"He admitted to putting Mr. Lane in a chokehold and strangling him," Chennault said.
Cherokee County investigators on Saturday informed the Sequoyah County sheriff of his father's death and said a truck was missing from the elder Lane's residence. Investigators believe Rainwater traveled from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Vian, Oklahoma, then drove to Cherokee County and killed Lane Sr.
Rainwater later used the victim's credit card at several convenience stores between Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and Memphis, Tennessee, Chennault said. Investigators tracked Rainwater's transaction locations and found him in Memphis. Lane Sr.'s truck was found in West Memphis, Arkansas.
He remained in custody Thursday at the Cherokee County jail without bond and with a hold in Sequoyah County for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Jail records don't list an attorney for him.