Jury trial begins

For man charged with murder of sheriff’s father

Jury trial for a Fort Smith, Ark., man charged with first degree murder in the death of Larry Lane Sr. began Monday in Cherokee County District Court with opening statements and seven witnesses called to testify, Sequoyah County District Attorney Jack Thorp said.

Richard Don “Ricky” Rainwater, 45, was bound over on first-degree murder charges in April 2019 for the strangulation death of Lane and an amended charge of larceny of an automobile.

Rainwater, who has remained in the Cherokee County jail, since September 2018, has confessed to killing Lane, 69, father of Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane Jr. Lane, who was found dead in his mobile home in Keys on Sept. 1, 2018.

The Sequoyah County sheriff (Lane Jr.) and his brother were called to the residence and discovered some items belonging to their father including a debit or credit card cash and cell phone were missing in addition to Lane’s truck from his residence.

Rainwater was arrested by Memphis police after the Cherokee County, Sequoyah County and OSBI investigators tracked receipts from the deceased stolen credit cards across two states. The stolen pickup belonging to Lane was discovered in West Memphis, Ark., and Rainwater was found in a mental health facility where he had admitted himself, according to investigators.

Rainwater was brought back to Cherokee County where he made his confession on Sept. 6.

Thorp reported Rainwater was charged with first-degree murder-malice aforethought, first degree robbery and larceny of a motor vehicle. Thorp said he will be trying the case himself.

Thorp spent most of last week in the jury selection and did not comment on the trial itself.

“Opening statements for a jury trial were given Monday. I’m not legally allowed to comment on a trial once it’s started. We did openings today (Monday) and 7 witnesses were called,” Thorp said.

Sequoyah County Times

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