Hearing Set for Accused Killer in LeFlore County

Legal proceedings are underway for a LeFlore County man accused of killing a Poteau bar owner in 2009 after an arrest was made in the four-year-old cold case last week.

Raymond Larry Nichols, 60, of Cameron, Okla., appeared in court Monday (Aug. 12) for a pretrial hearing where he asked Judge Jeffery Singer for a court-appointed attorney.

Nichols was arrested on a first degree murder charge in the death of 62-year-old Joe Neff on Aug. 8, authorities said.  Later that day, he was arraigned and a judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf, according to a LeFlore County sheriff’s deputy.

Nichols is scheduled to be back in court in front of Judge Singer Tuesday, Aug. 27 at 9 a.m.

Nichols is being held at the LeFlore County Jail without bond.

Neff, 62, was reported missing on May 14, 2009, after a bar employee found what appeared to be a crime scene at the Long Branch Saloon south of Poteau, according to an affidavit. Neff owned the bar.

Three days later, a fisherman found Neff’s body with a gunshot wound to the neck in a strip pit near Pocola, about 30 miles away from the bar, according to the affidavit.

For more on the cold case arrest, CLICK HERE.