LaPlace man arrested in wife's shooting death

LaPlace man arrested in wife's shooting death

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH, LA (WVUE) - In the well-manicured Live Oak Landing subdivision known for peace and quiet, a tragedy occurred in the wee hours of the morning Tuesday, unbeknownst to people nearby.

"No one heard any gunshots in the neighborhood, or on our street, in our vicinity, the cops we didn't even hear the siren," said Dawn White, who lives in the 100 Block of Oak Arbor Drive.

The sheriff's office said 55-year-old Richard Starks dialed 911, saying he had accidentally shot his wife, 47-year-old Carreta Davis Starks, as a result of a domestic issue.

"He was outside surrendering when we pulled up. He was immediately taken into custody, and his wife was found in the interior of the home," St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said.

Mrs. Starks was pronounced dead inside the home.

"The Sheriff's Office had no previous recorded incidents of any type of violence or disturbances," Tregre said.

"It's unbelievable. The gentleman has a very neighborly attitude, you know, he seems - it's not someone you'd ever expect of doing anything wrong," said White, who described his wife as being more reserved.

Other neighbors also said they had no idea the shooting had occurred.

"The entire crime scene was in the interior of the home, so if you are not out and about, you don't see us out there, you probably slept right through all of this," the sheriff said.

Recently there had been indications the couple's marriage was in trouble.

"Their daughter was in contact with one of my children and said that her mother was leaving the father and must have obviously told him," White said.

FOX 8 News asked Sheriff Tregre if Starks had spoken to investigators about whether his wife was planning to leave him.

"He asked for his attorney right after he was taken into custody, but we have enough. Investigation has led us to believe that there was mention of a divorce and she was interested in leaving," said the sheriff.

"You wouldn't think that that would bring someone to murder, but no one lives in anyone's house, no one knows what goes behind closed doors, but the
gentleman did seem very nice," said White.

"You just never expect it to happen, and it always does," said another resident, Carol McMullen.

Starks was booked with second-degree murder.

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