Lincoln County man charged with murder of roommate

Published 4:00 pm Monday, March 11, 2024

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call from Crawfords Lane in Stanford for an unresponsive male on Tuesday, March 5.

The 911 call was made by Joseph Nutgrass, 50, who according to the arrest citation told dispatch that he and his roommate Ricky Patterson, 45, had been in a fight.

“My roommate and I got into an argument and he’s not responding,” Nutgrass said to dispatch according to the report. “He tried to break my leg and I tried to choke him out. Now he is not responding.”

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Nutgrass allegedly went to a neighbor’s house to call 911, as he couldn’t find his phone, before returning to perform CPR on Patterson. Upon arrival, deputies began performing CPR. Nutgrass told deputies that Patterson had taken pills before falling unresponsive. EMS arrived on the scene, but their life-saving efforts were unsuccessful. Patterson was pronounced dead at the scene by Lincoln County Coroner Farris Marcum.

The citation states that Nutgrass waived his Miranda Rights and said in an interview with detectives that he put Patterson in a “Full Nelson” and “Body Triangle.” He denied putting Patterson in a chokehold despite what he told dispatchers. Nutgrass stated that the two had been in a fight a few days before.

Deputies believed that both Patterson and Nutgrass had been consuming alcohol. Nutgrass was charged with murder and booked at the Pulaski County Detention Center. The investigation is ongoing.