Man found guilty of murdering friend he thought had summoned Bigfoot

PONTOTOC COUNTY, Okla. — A man was found guilty after he reportedly told investigators that he killed his friend because he had summoned Bigfoot in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma.

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Larry Doil Sanders, 55, was found guilty on Wednesday, according to The Oklahoman. Sanders was found guilty of murdering Jimmy Knighten in July 2022, KXII reported.

Knighten was found strangled to death while out fishing with Sanders, according to People magazine. During the trial, Sanders’ attorney had reportedly claimed that Sanders acted in self-defense.

Sanders said during his testimony that he was out noodling with Knighten -- fishing with his bare hands or feet -- when he reportedly saw three figures that looked like sasquatches, according to The Oklahoman.

Witnesses testified that Sanders said he thought Knighten was trying to kill him and was going to sacrifice him to Bigfoot, the newspaper reported, according to People.

Knighten was killed during a fight when Sanders reportedly put him in a chokehold, KXII reported.

He was killed on July 9 and his body was found a day later, KOKI reported.

“In a first-degree murder case in Oklahoma, as in most other states, you have an element of malice aforethought, meaning that you have to have specific intent to cause the death of another,” District Attorney Erik Johnson said, according to KXII. “We were able to prove that Larry Sanders caused that death, and the issue of malice aforethought was what this case truly hinged upon.”

Sanders is expected to be sentenced on June 18. According to the news outlet, he is facing up to life in prison without parole.

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