Crime and Courts

Triple murder suspect in Oklahoma and Alabama killings is arrested in Arkansas

Stacy Lee Drake, 50, was arrested in Morrilton, about 50 miles outside Little Rock.

A man "escalating his violent behavior" — and linked to at least three slayings in Oklahoma and Alabama — was arrested in Arkansas on Thursday, authorities said.

Morrilton police and Arkansas State Police found and arrested Stacy Lee Drake, 50, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

Stacy Lee Drake
Stacy Lee Drake, 50, was last seen on foot outside a motel in Morrilton, Ark. (Arkansas Dept. of Public Safety)

Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Capt. Jack Kennedy told reporters Thursday: “If you look at his criminal history, he was continuously escalating his violent behavior. So he is now at least responsible for three, possibly four homicides that we know about in the last two months," according to NBC News.

“So I would not be surprised if there’s other homicides out there that are unsolved in other jurisdictions,” Kennedy said, “because of his lifestyle, using false names, having no fixed address, no employment records, changing and altering his appearance and then immediately fleeing in multiple, multiple, multiple states away from the scenes of his crimes.”

Arkansas State Police had warned residents in and around Morrilton, which is about 50 miles northwest of Little Rock, to keep their eyes open for Drake.

Kennedy said he appeared to be transient, with previous addresses in Oklahoma and Arizona.

He'd spent several recent days in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, where a man and a woman were killed at a propane gas store and a car was stolen Tuesday night, local and state officials said. The slayings happened about 120 miles west of Morrilton.

In Tuscaloosa County, he has been accused of killing Russell Andrews, 62, a well-liked Alcoholics Anonymous counselor, on or about May 14, officials there said.

Investigators knew Drake's name in about 24 hours, but they didn't make it public, banking that they'd have an upper hand if he believed detectives didn't know his name, Kennedy said.

Andrews was shot to death, stunning the community.

"I don’t know anybody that disliked my dad. My dad was a very likable guy," Russell Andrews Jr., his son, said Thursday. "He was very much of a giver ... and always wanted to lend an ear. A man with no clock is how I would describe Dad."

The slain man was eager to help anyone in need, his son said.

"He would sit there for hours and talk to people and just help them with whether it was an alcohol abuse, a drug addiction, whatever the case may be," Russell Andrews Jr. said. "Dad enjoyed helping people in that way. And I didn’t understand why anybody would murder Dad and had no clue who it was."

Drake has also been called a "person of interest" in the death of Phillip Emerson, 56, in El Reno, Oklahoma, El Reno Assistant Police Chief Kirk Dickerson said Thursday.

Police had been investigating an "unattended death" Friday before they concluded that Emerson "had suffered fatal injuries consistent with homicide," Dickerson said.

Drake is also wanted by federal authorities who say he has violated the terms of his release, Kennedy said. Drake has federal convictions for carjacking and illegal transport of firearms.

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