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Oklahoma warden's wife convicted of aiding escape

Oklahoman Modified: September 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm •  Published: September 21, 2011

MANGUM (AP) — The wife of a former Oklahoma prison warden who disappeared with a convicted murderer only to be found living with him in Texas nearly 11 years later was found guilty Wednesday of helping him escape.

A Greer County jury determined that 49-year-old Bobbi Parker helped convicted killer Randolph Franklin Dial escape from the Oklahoma State Reformatory in 1994. Parker insisted that Dial kidnapped her and kept her from reaching out for help for more than a decade by threatening to harm her daughters. The two were found living together in Texas in 2005.

The jury recommended that Parker, who remains in custody of the Greer County Sheriff, receive one year in prison. She could have faced up to 10 years in prison.

Bobbi Parker showed no reaction as the jury read the verdict shortly after noon. Randy Parker bowed his head and was comforted by family members.

Prosecutors said they were pleased with the verdict.

“We're just grateful for the work of the jury to sacrifice their summer," said Assistant District Attorney David Thomas, lead prosecutor in the case.

After months of testimony from more than 80 witnesses and reviewing more than 800 pieces of evidence, the Greer County jury deliberated for less than three full days before reaching its verdict.

Prosecutors contended that Parker was in love with Dial and helped him escape from the Oklahoma State Reformatory, where her husband was a deputy warden, so that they could start a new life. They said she and Dial were living happily together when police found them in Texas in 2005.

Dial died in 2007, but until his death he backed Bobbi Parker's version of events: that he drugged and kidnapped her, then kept her from calling police or her family by threatening to harm her family.

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