Oklahoma warden's wife convicted of helping prisoner escape
The wife of an Oklahoma prison warden who disappeared with a convicted murderer and was later discovered living with him was found guilty Wednesday of helping the prisoner escape.
The jury determined that Bobbi Parker, 49, was not kidnapped, as her attorney had argued, but instead helped Randolph Franklin Dial escape from the Oklahoma State Reformatory in 1994.
Parker showed no reaction as the jury read the verdict shortly after noon, according to the Associated Press. Her husband, Randy Parker, who was deputy warden at the time of the escape, bowed his head and was comforted by relatives. Prosecutors said they were pleased with the verdict.
Defense attorney Garvin Isaacs said Parker did not receive a fair trial and that he plans to appeal.
"I will never quit until Bobbi Parker is a free woman,” Isaacs told the Associated Press. “We had overwhelming evidence of Bobbi Parker's innocence.... We're going to have another trial in this case. This case will be reversed on appeal.”
After Parker and Dial were discovered living together on a Texas ranch in 2005, both maintained that Dial kidnapped her and threatened to harm her family if she tried to leave.
Dial died in prison June 13, 2007, at 62. He was serving a life sentence for the 1981 murder of karate instructor Kelly Dean Hogan and also had pleaded guilty to the 1994 escape. He was never charged with kidnapping.
Parker could be sentenced to up to a decade behind bars, but the jury recommended a year. She remained in custody Wednesday and was scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 6.
-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Houston
Photo: Bobbi and Randy Parker wait outside the Oklahoma courthouse while the jury deliberates Tuesday. She was convicted Wednesday of helping killer Randolph Franklin Dial escape in 1994 from the prison where her husband worked as a deputy warden. Credit: Jim Beckel / The Oklahoman