Authorities have charged an Arkansas man who went outside for a cigarette break during a football game telecast with capital murder.
The suspect allegedly stabbed his wife to death after she changed the television channel away from the game he was watching, and they got into a quarrel after he finished his smoke and went back inside the home and asked her about the score. The incident in the city of Carlisle near Little Rock occurred November 19, but the suspect was formally charged with capital murder on Monday of this week.
The Arkansas Democrat–Gazette recounted what allegedly happened based on law enforcement sources.
“[The suspect] told police his wife began yelling at him and an argument ensued. He got a knife from the wall and began stabbing her, according to an affidavit from Anthony Counts, a detective with the Lonoke County sheriff’s office.”
The suspect, identified by the Gazette as Tony Thomas, 58, allegedly told cops that he blacked out in the encounter, and when he regained consciousness, he was standing over his wife while holding a knife.
Thomas also allegedly called 911 shortly after the stabbing and informed the dispatcher that the sheriff’s department should respond with “a meat wagon” because he just killed his wife.
A witness allegedly present in the home when the attack happened entered the living room upon the sound of glass breaking and allegedly saw the suspect stabbing his wife. She ran outside and asked a passerby to call the police.
Cops responding to the scene tragically found the body of Elke Thomas in the backyard partially covered by a blanket and a tarpaulin where her husband had allegedly dragged it from the dining room of the home. Officers reportedly also located a knife in the yard. Investigators also observed bloodstains in various areas of the house, including on the floor and on the TV.
The suspect is currently being held in Lonoke County Jail on a $1 million bond, Fox News reported.
Because of prior felony convictions, prosecutors are also charging Thomas as a habitual offender. He is due back in court on January 22. In general, a capital murder charge means that the suspect could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted on that charge in a court of law.
As this is a developing story, check back for updates.