Three Oklahomans arrested in Arkansas killing

Wednesday, October 25th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NELLA, Ark. (AP) -- Three Oklahoma men are in custody and two others thought to be from Oklahoma were being sought as suspects in the fatal shooting of a man in Scott County.

Roland Varnado, 53, died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Sheriff Buck Byford said the victim was shot by one of a group of men at the Shiloh Church in the unincorporated community of Nella.

The three men in custody had not been charged Tuesday and the sheriff did not release their names nor their hometowns.

At about 1:30 Tuesday morning, sheriff's deputies were checking out a report from a woman in Nella that men were trying to break into her home. Byford said the woman asked for help from Varnado, who was her neighbor.

Byford said it appeared that Varnado drove to the home then to the church about a half mile away where he had seen a group of men.

Byford said deputies responding to the break-in call stopped at the church and found Varnado's body. While at the church, deputies saw a vehicle start to turn in and then speed away. Searchers later found the vehicle and two men nearby. They were arrested and a third suspect was caught later, authorities said.