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Man Charged with Killing Best Friend as 'Sacrifice' is Acquitted

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR -- A man accused of killing his best friend as a 'sacrifice' was acquitted by reason of mental disease or defect on Monday.
Sidney Rufus
Sidney Rufus
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR -- A man accused of killing his best friend as a 'sacrifice' was acquitted by reason of mental disease or defect on Monday.

In 2012, North Little Rock police say 19-year-old Devante Cooney stabbed his best friend, Sidney Rufus, to death. Rufus' brother say he is at peace with the development.

"It's pretty much just closure," said Iamaman Rufus.

Tuesday, Cooney was acquitted by reason of mental disease or defect and was ordered to the state hospital. Rufus' brother says he's OK with that decision but now focuses on moving forward and cherishing the good memories with his brother.

"He is where he is," Rufus said. "I am where I am and my brother is where he is." Investigators say Cooney called the killing 'a sacrifice,' and now more than a year later, Rufus' family still struggles to understand the loss.

"We manage to make it every day, just day by day," Rufus said.

Back in September 2012, police found Sidney Rufus, 23, stabbed several times Monday night at his North Little Rock home. Police say the suspect confessed by telling them he killed to commit a sacrifice.

"The victim made a statement, apparently his mother passed away recently. From what we gathered, the victim made a statement that he wanted to see his mother, and that's why we thought the word sacrifice came in. We don't feel like that it's any type of religious sacrifice," says Sgt. Brian Dedrick with the North Little Rock Police Department.

Police found Rufus stabbed several times bleeding from his chest and back. Doctors could not save his life.

At the time, Rufus' brother told the two had been best friends and they really did not have any problems in the past.
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