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Oklahoma warden's wife gets prison term for aiding 1994 escape

November 7, 2011 |  2:33 pm


Bobbi Parker, a former Oklahoma prison warden's wife found guilty of helping a convicted murderer escape, was sentenced Monday to a year in prison.

A jury had recommended the sentence; she could have faced up to 10 years in prison, the Associated Press reported.  

Prosecutors said Parker, 49, helped inmate Randolph Dial break out of the Oklahoma State Reformatory in 1994 while her husband, Randy, was working there as deputy warden. They said that Parker fell in love with Dial at a prison pottery program and that the couple lived on the lam for years in Texas under assumed names as husband and wife.

Authorities responding to a tip discovered the pair living in a mobile home on a chicken ranch in Campti, Texas, on April 4, 2005.

Defense attorneys said Dial drugged Parker, kidnapped her and held her hostage by threatening to harm her family, including her daughters.

After Parker's and Dial's discovery, officials returned Dial to prison to serve a life sentence for first-degree murder in the 1981 slaying of an Oklahoma karate instructor. He died in 2007 at age 62, maintaining all the time that he had kidnapped Parker.

On Monday, a courtroom in Mangum, Okla., was packed to overflowing for Parker's sentencing, according to the Oklahoman.

With family and friends sitting behind her, Parker listened as Judge Richard Darby handed down the sentence. Parker will be given credit for time served since her conviction Sept. 21, and must also pay costs associated with her case.

Parker is appealing her conviction, and she'll remain in the Department of Corrections' custody pending the outcome, according to the Associated Press.

“Ms. Parker, you have an enormous amount of support," Darby said, "and I hope they continue to be there for you.”

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Houston

Photo: Bobbi Parker, 49, is escorted from the Greer County Courthouse in Mangum, Okla., after a judge sentenced her to a year in prison for helping a murderer escape from prison in 1994. Credit: David McDaniel / The Oklahoman