Oklahoma warden's wife convicted of aiding escape

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

Parker and Dial disappeared Aug. 30, 1994, and were missing for nearly 11 years when a tip to a television show that highlights years-old cases led offices to Campti, Texas, a small community near the Toledo Bend Reservoir along the Louisiana border. Dial was arrested April 4, 2005, and Parker was found nearby, working on a chicken ranch.

Until his escape, Dial helped Parker run the prison's pottery program from her garage. Prosecutors said the pair fell in love, and witnesses at her trial said the two had behaved inappropriately at the home on prison grounds she shared with her husband and their young daughters.

Parker pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of assisting a prisoner to escape after being accused the day before the statute of limitations expired. Her lawyers argued unsuccessfully that the passage of time and the death of several witnesses, including Dial, prevented Parker from receiving a fair trial.

Following his capture in 2005, Dial maintained he abducted Parker and kept her as a hostage throughout his freedom — even while she nursed him back to health after a heart attack. Defense attorney Garvin Isaacs called Dial a manipulative sociopath who threatened his alleged mob connections would harm Parker's family if she ran away or made a plea for help.

Dial died in prison June 13, 2007, at age 62. He was serving a life sentence for the 1981 murder of Broken Arrow karate instructor Kelly Dean Hogan and also had pleaded guilty to the 1994 escape. He was never charged with kidnapping.

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