Coal Co. murder suspect formally charged

By: Stephanie Brletic Email
By: Stephanie Brletic Email

COAL COUNTY, Okla. -- Sonny Albarado, Jr. was formally charged with the murder of Lonnie Allen Matthews in Coal County on Tuesday. As Stephanie Brletic reports, this is not the first time Albarado has been in trouble with the law.

Officials say they believe an argument between Albarado and Lonnie Allen Matthews Thursday night was the motive for Matthews’ murder. They caught up with Albarado in McCurtain County on Saturday night, where he was arrested.

Coal County Sheriff’s Deputies transported Sonny Albarado back to the Coal County Jail late Tuesday afternoon. Assistant district attorney Preston Harbuck says he has charged Albarato with one count of second degree murder.

This is not Albarado's first brush with the law. Investigators say Albarado has spent time in jail, and say he was on probation at the time of the murder for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, second offense.

Coal County Sheriff Roy Deck says the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to assure that both sides of this case are treated fairly.

"We call them as a lead investigator. We're there to assist and help in whatever manner we can be involved in, but if it's on a level where we know someone real well and deal with them on a personal level, maybe as personal friends or whatever, it's better that someone outside the department do the interviews and conduct the investigation."

"It's a very unfortunate situation for anyone involved in it, especially for the family of the deceased," Harbuck said.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation officials say the cooperation and resources of other departments helped them arrest Albarato quickly.

"There are at least four agencies that's been involved, and everybody worked great together," George McFarland, OSBI, said.

Now, the Coal County District Attorney’s Office says only the court can decide whether Albarado's previous convictions will effect the time he would serve if convicted for Matthews’ murder.

Officials say bond for Albarato is set at $2.5 million.

A preliminary hearing is set for January 31 at 9 a.m.


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  • by anonymous on Jan 22, 2008 at 08:16 PM
    I'm really sadden for what has happen to one of my family members.I pray that the good Lord will grant us peace.God knows who did this, and some day they will answer to him. I cann't even think about losing one of my childen in this way. I just want people to understand God put all on earth for a reason.To love each other and not to kill each other. The way I look at this life to short. This person has just thrown their life away. Not only theirs, but their childerns life. What about a wife, a mother, father, brothers, sisters. A decision that this person made was a decision for his whole family. I pray for everyone. God Bless My aunt Rosie. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU.
  • by George Location: NY on Jan 21, 2008 at 05:40 PM
    I am so sorry for what has happen to my cousin I had just talked to him on X-mas day and he was moving down there to start a new life with his son. I hope they get the one's that did this for we know that not just one person has done this. The ones that did this better get ready for whats to come you will pay.
  • by Lorie Location: Spokane on Jan 21, 2008 at 01:19 PM
    Annie: Thank you. Mom's hanging in there. The hardest time will be after the funeral, when life must go on. I'll let mom know about your note and I'll send George a link to another site as the story has fallen off the news page. Thanks again, Love ya. Lorie
  • by cornelia Location: ny on Jan 19, 2008 at 03:42 PM
    To My Dearest Aunt and family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We hope that justice will be done to the individuals who are responsible for this horrible crime. It sounds like ther needs to be more arrest made in this case. Let's hope everyone involved gets punished to the maximum.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 17, 2008 at 07:50 PM
    BECAUSE THERE WERE WITNESSES
  • by Anonymous on Jan 17, 2008 at 03:23 PM
    HOW DO THEY KNOW SONNY DID IT
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