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Man from Stella is charged for murder of his landlord, business owner in NW Arkansas

July 28, 2011|by KY3 News

NEOSHO, Mo. -- The Newton County prosecuting attorney charged a man on Thursday for the shooting death of a well known businessman from McDonald County on Tuesday night.  Danny Thomas, 61, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.   

Law officers found the body of Darrell Bone, 58, of Rocky Comfort on Wednesday morning in the backyard of a home on Highway O near Stella that he rented to Thomas.  Officers arrested Thomas after he told a friend about the shooting and the friend called police.

Bone was a well-known businessman in the Rogers and Pea Ridge area of northwest Arkansas.  Officers at the scene said the body had two gunshot wounds to the face and one gunshot wound to the center of the back.

Thomas told detectives that Bone went to his home about 9 p.m. Tuesday and beat loudly on the door.  Thomas said he opened the door and Bone threatened to kill him.  Bone said he shut the door and went to another room to get a rifle.

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Thomas said Bone was walking away towards his truck when Thomas shot him in the back from the back porch, then walked to within 10 feet of Bone and shot him two more times in the face.  The probable cause statement used as the basis of the charge does not indicate a motive for the shooting or why Bone might have threatened to kill Thomas.

Thomas told detectives, according to the probable cause statement, that he "took Bone's truck and went driving around for a while thinking about what he had done.  He admitted it was about a twelve hour gap before he confessed the shooting" to his friend "and that he had not made an attempt to contact emergency services or anyone else to report the shooting."

The detective said Thomas handed over the keys to Bone's truck and a Rossi lever-action .38 Special - .357 caliber rifle was in the truck.  The detective said Thomas said that was the murder weapon.

A judge set Thomas' bond at $50,000.

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