MANGUM — A woman accused of helping convicted murderer Randolph Dial escape the Oklahoma prison where her husband was assistant warden faced a Greer County judge today.
Bobbi Parker, 45, was booked, fingerprinted and released on a $10,000 bond before Associate District Judge Dan Deaver. She faces a felony charge of helping a prisoner escape. If convicted, she could spend up to 10 years in jail.
Parker, with Dial concealed in her car, drove away from the Oklahoma State Reformatory in 1994. Federal agents found them April 4, 2005, living on an east Texas chicken ranch.
Despite reservations from his family, Parker's father-in-law addressed the media following the court appearance.
"We've had 13 years of this," Jerry Parker said. "The first 10, we heard nothing from her. Now Bobbi has been reunited with her husband. It's time for the Parker family to be represented."
Jerry Parker also said his son, Randy, and his wife have "worked things out" and that she is "thrilled to be back."
Randy Parker sat by his wife today before she was booked. The Parkers' daughters also were present. The girls were 8 and 10 when their mother disappeared. One has since graduated from nursing school; the other is attending college.
Since Dial's escape, many have wondered whether Parker was a captive or was smitten with him.
Jerry Parker, speaking for the family, said they are disappointed with the decision to prosecute Bobbi.
She has been reunited with her family and doing well for the past three years, her father-in-law said.
She has been living in McAlester, where her husband now is a state Corrections Department administrator.
After reading a 1,200-page investigative report by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, District Attorney John Wampler filed the felony charge in early April. At the time, Wampler said Parker chose to leave her husband and two daughters and help a convicted killer flee.
At the time of his escape, Dial was serving a life sentence for killing a Broken Arrow karate instructor in 1981.
An affidavit filed with the court states Parker was "romantically involved" with Dial and assisted him by "driving her vehicle with inmate Dial hidden as a passenger." The charge also accuses Parker of helping Dial hide until he was captured.
Parker lived as Samantha Deahl in east Texas, and those who knew her then said she was afraid of Dial. Debra Grace, who employed Parker and Dial at her chicken farm for 2 years, said Parker acted like an abused woman. Grace said Dial wouldn't let Parker out of his sight and if the women went into town, Parker was afraid to be gone long.
Dial, 62, died June 13, 2007. During a 2006 arraignment, a shackled Dial left the Greer County courthouse and yelled "God bless Bobbi Parker."