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Homicide suspect thought aunt planned to kill him

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EDMOND, Okla. — New, disturbing details are emerging about Edmond’s first homicide of the year. 

In court documents filed Monday, the suspect describes in graphic detail how he drowned his elderly aunt. 

Ronald Sparks, 47, lived with his aunt, who had recently moved to Edmond from a nursing home in Lawton. 

Edmond police went to their home at 1000 E. Edwards after Sparks himself called 911 and said he had found his aunt, 89-year-old Bernice Daugherty, in the bathtub full of water. 

But officers said the story didn’t add up. 

“It was an unusual call and that’s what led to us contacting our Criminal Investigation Division. And through their investigation, we were able to make a murder arrest,” Edmond Police Sgt. Chad Langley said. 

Court documents detail how Daugherty had bruising on her arms and legs and an avulsion, or a deep, gashing wound, on her left hand. 

Sparks came in for questioning and admitted to the crime. 

He stated that his mother and aunt were “the most evil people that he had ever met and that they were planning on killing him.”  And “he thought that they put something in his morning coffee.” 

He told investigators he put Daugherty in a “Chinese Death Lock … put her face first into the bath water and … put his foot on the back of her head to hold her under the water.”

Family members reacted with shock. 

“He was just an unstable man who should’ve been on his medication and shoulda known better,” Daugherty’s great-nephew, Louie Almon, said. “She was a good lady all through her lifetime and she never done nothing wrong to deserve this.”

Also in those court documents, Sparks told officers “that in a situation like this involving an elderly person, he had hoped that the murder would look like an accident or a medical situation.”