Neighbors React To Retired Pastor Murdered In Home

FORREST CITY, Ark. - A retired Arkansas preacher is dead allegedly at the hands of his neighbor. It happened in Forrest City over the weekend. 

Police had to chase down the suspected killer before arresting him. 

Arnold Gwathney, 78, was found dead in his home Sunday. Police say Larry Watts killed him then stole his car to commit other crimes.

Neighbors on Hickey Street in Forrest City say there's now something missing along their road.

"Everyday we see him walking his dog Tiffani and he stops and talks," neighbor John Pope said. 

Pope says in the evenings Gwathney would take his pup down the street and visit with his neighbors. 

"If you needed him for something he would be there for you. He'd give you the shirt off his back," Pope said. 

He and John James say they're having trouble coming to grips with the news the 78-year-old retired pastor was killed in his own home over the weekend.

State Police believe Larry Watts, who lives only two doors down, broke into Gwathney's home, murdered him, and stole his car. Police say he then robbed a Family Dollar in Brinkley before leading authorities on a chase. He was eventually taken into custody. 

"It's just crazy that somebody would do that to him," neighbor Jonavery Wilson said. 

Wilson and Lateshia Haggans say they talked to Gwathney just a day before he was killed.

"He never really messed with anyone. He was one of the most respectful men that we had ever seen," Haggans said. 

The people down Hickey Street are heartbroken saying they'll miss the kind soul who made their neighborhood and their community a better place to live. 

No formal charges have been filed against Watts yet. Arkansas State Police is preparing a criminal case file for the prosecuting attorney. 


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