PRYOR — A Mayes County woman was convicted of murder in the death of her husband, and the jury recommended she serve a life sentence with the chance of parole, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
After a weeklong trial, the jury deliberated three-and-a-half hours before finding Wendy Cobb guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Michael Cobb.
Michael Cobb, a firefighter, died April 28, 2009, in an arson-related house fire.
Wendy Cobb, 46, will have to serve 38 years and three months in prison before she is eligible for parole, said Jessica Villalva, Mayes County assistant district attorney.
“She will be well into her 80s,” Villalva said.
The Cobbs were going through a heated divorce and custody battle of their 6-year-old twins, a boy and girl, Villalva said.
The couple had various property and life insurance polices that when cashed in would have paid out $1.2 million when Michael Cobb died, Villalva said. Out of the payout, $270,000 was earmarked for the couple's home mortgage, she said.
Michael Cobb told his insurance company to put a note in his file that if something were to happen to him, they were to instruct police to look at his wife or the “thug boyfriend,” Villalva said.
Nicholas Lee Shires, 26, of Pryor, testified that Wendy Cobb picked him up in her automobile, provided him with a bat and gasoline and a motorcycle to flee the scene and then drove him to the Cobb residence and left him there while she went shopping in Tulsa, Villalva said.
Some of the family's important items, such as electronics and clothing, Wendy Cobb loaded into an outbuilding, Shires testified. Shires waited for Michael Cobb inside the house and as soon as the Osage firefighter walked in, Shires took a swing at him with the bat. He missed, but then chased him into the front yard where he bashed Michael Cobb's head with a bat, Shires testified.
Shires then drug an unconscious Michael Cobb into the home, placed him in the bedroom and poured gasoline on him and set him and the house on fire, Shires testified.
“During all of this, Michael Cobb was still breathing,” Villalva said.
Shires, who faces a first-degree murder charge in the case, is due back in court Nov. 16. Wendy Cobb will be sentenced Dec. 21, court records show.