By Keri Thornton

kthornton@tahlequahdailypress.com

Jurors heard witnesses testimony in Cherokee County District Court Tuesday and Wednesday in a case against a man accused of first-degree murder.

The jury trial began Monday for Ricky Don Rainwater, 45, who 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.

Undersheriff James Brown took the stand and told the jury his account on the days leading up Rainwater's arrest.

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.

Firstar Bank loan officer Jared Johnson testified the bank was contacted and asked to provide Lane's bank records to authorities.

He said at the time the bank turned over the records, they were not aware that Lane was deceased.

"If those records that indicate bank transactions on Sept. 1 were made at a time when Larry Dale Lane was deceased, could he have done those transactions still?" asked District Attorney Eric Jordan.

Johnson said it just depends on the type of transaction.

"ATM transactions are conducted at the time they are done. Now they do have debit cards that do have a preauthorization, and so if there were recurring charges, those could continue," said Johnson.

Brown said he and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Agent Dale Fine traveled to Memphis, where they met with Rainwater.

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