Arrest In 2009 LeFlore County Murder Of Bar Owner - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Arrest In 2009 LeFlore County Murder Of Bar Owner

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Booking photo of Larry Nichols. Booking photo of Larry Nichols.
Photo of Joe Neff. [KFSM] Photo of Joe Neff. [KFSM]
POTEAU, Oklahoma -

Authorities arrested a man Thursday for the 2009 murder of a LeFlore County man.

Joe Neff's body was found in a strip pit pond in Pocola on May 17, 2009, a few days after he was reported missing.

The OSBI said Neff, the owner of the Long Branch Saloon, had a gunshot wound to his neck. During the autopsy, doctors retrieved a 9 mm bullet, which investigators believed to be from a Ruger pistol.

Agents said Neff was found with his hands and legs bound with wire and zip ties, duct tape wrapped around his head and with a cement block chained to his body.

Investigators said they interviewed Neff's friends, relatives and employees and many of them mentioned that Neff had been having problems with his ex-wife. The witnesses reportedly told OSBI agents that his ex-wife had been demanding money and that Neff told them to suspect her and her brother, Raymond Larry Nichols, if anything should happen to him.

It was the 60-year-old Nichols who was arrested Thursday at his home in Cameron. He was booked into the LeFlore County jail on suspicion of first degree murder.

The OSBI said Nichols' common-law wife bought a Ruger 9 mm pistol from a pawn shop in 2001. When interviewed, the woman told agents she had bought it and given it to Nichols.

Last month, a dive team searched the pond where Neff's body was found and, using underwater metal detectors, located a Ruger 9 mm under layers of silt. That gun matched the one given to Nichols, the OSBI said. Investigators then determined it was the gun used to kill Neff in 2009.

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