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Jurors to resume talks in trial of Okla. warden's wife accused of aiding murderer's escape
MANGUM, Okla. (AP) ' Jurors completed their first full day of deliberations Tuesday as they work to decide whether a former Oklahoma prison warden's wife helped a convicted killer escape or if she was kidnapped and held in check through threats for more than a decade.
Lawyers in the case said Tuesday that the judge granted a request by the jury to tour the home on the prison grounds where the warden and his wife lived. The jury is to board a bus at 9 a.m. Wednesday for the drive to the prison.
Bobbi Parker, 49, could face up to 10 years in prison if the jury decides she helped Randolph Franklin Dial escape from the Oklahoma State Reformatory, where her husband worked as deputy warden.
Jurors began deliberating on Monday after listening to months of testimony from more than 80 witnesses and reviewing more than 800 pieces of evidence. In addition to requesting the tour of the prison grounds, the jury on Tuesday asked to review 1994 video shot by Texas police of the van Parker and Dial disappeared in.
The jury faces one central question: Did she fall in love with Dial, who died in 2007, or did Dial drug the woman and take her from the Oklahoma State Reformatory as his hostage?
Parker and Dial disappeared from the prison on Aug. 30, 1994. It took 11 years for authorities to locate them at a home in Campti, Texas. Police found Parker working in a nearby chicken house.
Prosecutors say Parker helped Dial escape after falling in love with him while they worked together in a prison pottery program that was held in the garage of the Parker home, which was on the prison grounds.
Both Dial and Parker maintained that he kidnapped her, but Oklahoma authorities filed charges against Parker, believing she helped Dial escape.
In his closing argument Monday, assistant prosecutor Eric Yarborough dismissed Parker's claim that she was drugged.
"The intoxication in his case was love," he told jurors. "She chose freedom with Randolph Franklin Dial. Was it a good choice? Probably not. Was it a bad choice? Absolutely."
Parker's attorney, Garvin Isaacs, called Dial a "sick, sociopathic egomaniac" who stole Parker away from her husband and two daughters. She's still married to her husband, Randy Parker, who testified during the trial that he loves his wife.
"Bobbi Parker isn't going to do anything that will break up her family," Isaacs said.
Dial pleaded guilty to escape before he died in 2007 at the age of 62. He maintained until his death that he kidnapped Parker and held her against the will.
But prosecutors never charged Dial with kidnapping. They say the two made a pact that if either was discovered, he would say he kidnapped her and held her hostage. In a letter he wrote from prison after he was recaptured, Dial said: "Who cares how many years I get? With my life sentence, who's counting? Not me."
Jurors in the trial of a former deputy warden's wife on a charge of helping a convicted killer escape have finished deliberating for the day.
The jury broke just before 6 p.m. Tuesday. During deliberations, the jury asked to see the Oklahoma State Reformatory, where Bobbi Parker disappeared with Randolph Franklin Dial in 1994.
The judge didn't rule in open court on the request, but lawyers say the jury, judge and lawyers are to visit the prison on Wednesday, including the home on the compound where Parker lived with her husband.
The lawyers in the case say the judge won't allow a reporter to go with the jury.
The jury is to board a bus for the prison at 9 a.m., to start its second day of deliberations.