Closing arguments in murder case begin today


Jurors heard the last two witnesses testimony in Cherokee County District Court Thursday morning in a case against a man accused of first-degree murder.

Ricky Don Rainwater, 45, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, robbery by force and fear, and larceny of an automobile. He was extradited from Memphis, Tennessee, in September 2018 after allegedly placing Larry Lane Sr. in a chokehold and strangling him in his Keys home.

According to court reports, Rainwater was loaned a truck by someone in Sequoyah County, and he drove the vehicle to Lane's residence. The suspect allegedly stole Lane's truck, cash, cell phone and bank cards after killing him.

When the truck Rainwater initially drove to Cherokee County was not returned, a warrant was issued for the suspect out of Sequoyah County for unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Memphis Police Officer Darrell Cherry testified in court, saying he is the one who arrested Rainwater at a mental health hospital in Memphis on Sept. 3, 2018.

"Did Mr. Rainwater say anything to you that was not in response to a question that you asked?" said District Attorney Eric Jordan.

Cherry said he asked Rainwater how he got to the hospital.

He said Rainwater told him he met a man in Oklahoma, and that man gave him the keys to a GMC truck.

Rainwater's attorney Crystal Jackson said she discussed the pros and cons with her client regarding his testifying. Rainwater chose not to take the stand in his trial.

The jurors were excused for the day shortly before 11 a.m. and are to return Friday morning for closing arguments. The jurors will then deliberate.

"Be here ready to have this case -- we're going complete it tomorrow and give it you for deliberation," said District Court Judge Douglas Kirkley.

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