Hearing Set for Accused Killer in LeFlore County

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

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.