An Oklahoma poker home game shooting terrified neighbors in the tiny town of fewer than 5,000 residents over the weekend.
The small town of Sulphur in the Sooner State is eponymously named for its sulpher springs, for which it well known in the area, and now it will have another claim to fame: a notorious capital murder case.
According to local news reports, Robert Carmona, 23, allegedly shot and killed his colleague Victor Perez, 29, after a verbal altercation. The alleged suspect said he was “sorry for what he did,” as he was led into court on Monday.
The Sulphur residents, who reportedly worked together, were playing a home game on Saturday when a disagreement broke out. Although the exact details of the argument are unclear, it’s believed it was linked to the poker game.
As tensions rose, both men took things outside, and that’s when Carmona allegedly drew his gun and fired two rounds at Perez. One of the bullets hit Perez in the neck and by the time officers arrived on the scene, he was pronounced dead.
“When we got to the scene we found a deceased subject lying on the porch. They got into it inside the residence and from there it went to the front porch,” read the police report.
As for Carmona, he fled from the house soon after firing at Perez and made his way to Sulphur’s local casino. After arriving at the venue, he began asking some acquaintances for a ride to Texas, but found himself in trouble after a local officer overheard his conversation.
Checking Carmona’s description against the one given out over the police radio, the officer proceeded to arrest him and take him into custody.
Appearing in court on Monday to hear charges of murder against him, Carmona told the court he was sorry for his actions, but residents of Sulphur have been visibly shaken by news of the incident. Talking to Local TV News 12, neighbor Aimee Williams explained how the shooting has caused an air of fear and unease to flow through the local community.
“It just felt really safe up until the other night. I never expected it to happen in the first place, so now you are always concerned is this type of thing going to happen again,” she said.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that apology will spare Carmona a long stretch behind bars. In fact, according to state law, if Carmona is found guilty of first-degree murder, he could face the death sentence. And that sentence could carry some gravitas, as Oklahoma is ranked second only to Texas in carrying out its death penalties via lethal injection.
In 2014, three executions were carried out by the state’s Department of Corrections.