Donald McRae Sparrow of Stamps, who is charged with the April 2 shooting death of his father, entered a plea of “not guilty” to the allegation last week in Lafayette County Circuit Court.
Sparrow, 44, was arrested in Minden, LA, motel hours after Donald R. "Mokey" Sparrow, 72, was found dead at 328 Lafayette 114.
The younger Sparrow was charged with first-degree murder, which is punishable by a prison term of not less than 10 years nor more than 40 years or life.
The arraignment was Thursday in Lewisville.
Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson set a status hearing in the case for Friday, July 12.
The “probable cause” affidavit submitted by Arkansas State Police Special Agent James D. Jones detailed the murder investigation.
The initial investigation revealed that the defendant called his mother, Linda Sparrow, during the early evening of April 2, telling her that he’d accidentally shot his father during a scuffle. The defendant left the scene and was not present when Lafayette County Ambulance Service and Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived.
Before authorities arrived, Mrs. Sparrow and her daughter, Lindsey Nutt, reached the Sparrow residence after receiving the defendant’s call while attending a baseball game. They found Mr. Sparrow face down and deceased under a carport. His truck was missing.
Jones wrote that Special Agent Adam Pinner with Jones and Special Agent Corwin Battle executed a search warrant at the residence. “It appeared Mr. Sparrow had a gunshot wound to the back of his head. We continued to search the residence and the property. We did not find any signs of a struggle or fight in the yard or inside the residence,” the affidavit said.
In the meantime, the defendant had made his way to a truck stop in Cotton Valley, LA, where he asked a man identified as Lloyd Savage to take him to a hotel. Jones’ report said Savage told Sparrow that there were no hotels in Cotton Valley but agreed to take him to a hotel in Minden, LA.
“Mr. Savage advised while they were at the hotel, Mr. Sparrow told him that he had been in a situation tonight and he had killed his dad,” the affidavit said.
Jones and others also interviewed the clerk at the Exacta Inn.
“She advised while she was checking Mr. Sparrow in, he made a statement that he and his dad had gotten into an argument and his dad was dead. The clerk also stated Mr. Sparrow asked her not to call the police. The clerk advised she called the police after talking with her boss,” the affidavit said.
The result was a two-hour standoff between Sparrow and Minden police. Sparrow barricaded himself in his room and threatened to kill officers at the hotel. However, Sparrow eventually surrendered.
Sparrow declined to make a statement and requested a lawyer while he was held in Webster Parish.
Jones wrote that Dr. Frank J. Peretti of the Arkansas State Crime Lab told him on April 4 that the victim had died from a .22-caliber bullet wound to the back of his head.
“Dr. Peretti stated there were no signs of a struggle other than the injures to the head and front of body most likely caused from the fall after being shot. Dr. Peretti stated the cause of death is a gunshot wound and the manner of death is a homicide,” the affidavit said.
The late Mr. Sparrow had been married to his wife for 50 years. He was a 1964 graduate of Stamps High School. He attended Southern Arkansas University and Red River Technical College in Hope. He was retired after 29 years as an industrial electrician.