YUKON — Just after midnight and 30 minutes before Bailey Rian Thrasher was stabbed to death Saturday morning, her shotgun-toting, wig-wearing ex-boyfriend and 32-year-old teacher kicked in the door of her Yukon apartment, where she, her sister and several friends were hanging out. He made everyone get against the wall, including one of Thrasher's pregnant relatives, said Melissa Stringer, Thrasher's aunt. "If Bailey doesn't come with me, I'm killing her first, then I'll kill all of you,” Stringer said she was told the gunman demanded. "If anyone calls 911, I'll kill you all.” Meanwhile, Thrasher was able to call 911 with a cell phone without the gunman knowing, Stringer said. She decided to leave her apartment with her ex-boyfriend, stating as she left "He won't hurt me.” They got into a car, which was not his, Stringer said. As they left the apartment in the 600 block of W Vandament, an officer spotted the car and followed. A chase ensued. It ended on State Highway 152 in Mustang when an officer pushed the car off the road. As officers approached the car, the driver, identified as 32-year-old Robert Paul Roberson, was stabbing Thrasher repeatedly, police said. He wouldn't stop, so officers fired several shots at him, killing him. Thrasher, 16, died in the car before paramedics could arrive on the scene. Several family members described her on Sunday as a hero who gave her life so her family and friends could live.Comments
"That's how he controlled her, was with the daily and weekly threat that he would massacre the whole family.”
Darin Thrasher, Bailey's father
‘Horror story'"This dwarfs most of your horror story plots,” said Bailey's father, Darin Thrasher. "This dwarfs them. It's beyond stranger than fiction. It is an absolute horror story.” Bailey Thrasher's demise began at the age of 13, about the time she had moved in with her dad, owner of Sid's Diner in Yukon. She fell into the wrong crowd and began experimenting with drugs and partying, Darin Thrasher said Sunday outside of his restaurant. She was just being a teenager. Her partying life landed her in the Canadian County Education Center, an alternative school operated by the Gary E. Miller Canadian County Children's Justice Center, where Darin Thrasher said his daughter met Robert Roberson, who was a drill instructor at the school. Darin Thrasher said a romance began between his then-14-year-old daughter and Roberson while she went to school there. Shortly after they started dating, the two moved into an apartment together. Darin Thrasher knew better, but said he thought the situation might benefit his daughter because it appeared Roberson didn't drink or do drugs and was a work-out fiend. "I thought it would be a positive for her,” he said. "Then I also thought the relationship would fizzle out and she would be done partying.” Then, according to Darin Thrasher, threats were made by Roberson to terrorize a girl just half his age. He would hold a gun to her head and force her to have sex with him. He threatened her family, her life, if she ever spoke to anyone about it, Darin Thrasher said. One day, Bailey Thrasher finally had had enough and moved out of their apartment and into another with her sister. The threats continued, Darin Thrasher said. Three times a week or more, Roberson made Bailey come to his house and have sex with him, usually at gunpoint, Darin Thrasher said. "It was on his mind to massacre our entire family,” he said. "That's how he controlled her, was with the daily and weekly threat that he would massacre the whole family.” Finally, Bailey Thrasher had enough and went to police to file a report against Roberson. It was too late, Darin Thrasher said.
Healing beginsDozens of Bailey Thrasher's family members gathered Sunday at the family restaurant to talk about Bailey, about abuse and how to get out of abusive relationships. Tears were common, but not one from her father. "We're all seriously wounded and those wounds hurt,” he said. "Our wounds will heal. While we wait, God is giving us the strength to ease the pain.” He said there are a million things that could have been done to prevent his daughter's tragic death. He said his own guilt as a father was pressing him, but added his faith in God was protecting him from blame. Although troubled, Bailey was a smart girl who had a knack for children, especially her three younger siblings and many nieces and nephews. She wanted to be a school teacher and was excelling in her alternative school classes, ahead of schedule to graduate, her dad said. When not at school or hanging out with friends, Bailey Thrasher could be found waiting tables at the family restaurant, where she essentially had grown up. Darin Thrasher wanted to thank the officers that tried to save his little girl Saturday and to reassure them he blamed them for nothing. "There was a lot of room for judgment,” he said. "I'd like for them to get the message that if they are feeling any second-guessing, I want them to stop because I know they did the best they could.” Darin Thrasher also wanted to get out a message that if you are being abused, to get help as quickly as possible; not to wait too long and to realize that protective orders alone do not protect you from harm. "You need to know that you're on your own,” he said. "When you go file charges against someone in anything like this, the danger kicks up. You are on your own as far as security.”
Were there others?Bailey Thrasher was not the only student at the Gary E. Miller Canadian County Children's Juvenile Justice Center that Roberson was having relations with, said her father, Darin Thrasher, on Sunday. Darin Thrasher claimed Roberson had been involved with at least two other students, and that school officials were told about the relationships. Thrasher said Roberson was not working at the school this year. Attempts by The Oklahoman on Sunday to reach two justice center officials, including Canadian County Associate District Judge Gary E. Miller, were unsuccessful.