Chief ranger Jerry Digman's son speaks after father's death, mother's arrest

    10:35 PM, Jan 6, 2014   |    comments
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    ROLAND, Ark. (KTHV) - A day after Arkansas State Parks and Tourism chief ranger Jerry Digman is shot, a son said his father is dead and he fears he may have lost his mother, too.

    Still in shock, Matthew Digman said what happened Sunday does not fit the parents he knows.

    "He's gone and I don't really know why," said Matthew Digman in an exclusive interview with THV11's Daniel Wilkerson.

    "Just a complete surprise, you know."

    It was just before noon Sunday, Matthew was visited from sheriff's deputies while working at Arkansas Children's Hospital. Investigators said his mother had just reportedly shot and killed his father, Jerry, at their home in Roland, after the two had been arguing.

    Matthew said, "I had been trying to get in touch with them for awhile because I sensed something was going on."

    He said his father worked as an Arkansas State Police trooper for more than 30 years before retiring in 2011.  He soon headed to work as head ranger for Arkansas State Parks and Tourism.

    "He loved to ride horses. He loved being retired... Until he went back. I guess he wanted more to do."

    Matthew described his parents as being gentle souls, and he said he can't imagine his mother and father being involved in anything like this.

    "It's very strange. I can't imagine him being aggressive to anyone that wasn't related to work in law enforcement. I've never seen him out lash on anyone, not violently," he said.

    While he fears he may have now lost both his parents, he's not sure yet how much he'll support his mother, who is facing a first degree murder charge.

    "She is my mother, you know, she raised me. Nothing like this has ever happened before, so it's very confusing, but that was my father. You can't pick sides. He's gone and I don't really know why, so I can't really be okay with that just yet."

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