Bobbi Parker, 47, is charged with helping convicted killer Randolph Dial escape from the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite in 1994. The two remained together for more than a decade before they were discovered living on a chicken ranch in east Texas, near Campti, in 2005.
Parker’s attorney argued the case should be thrown out because the 3-year statute of limitations on the crime had run out and the delay violated Parker’s constitutional right to due process.
“The judge denied our motion to dismiss based on the statute of limitations and based upon our due process argument,” Parker’s attorney Garvin Isaacs said Wednesday.
A trial date has been set for Jan. 11.
Prosecutors have maintained the statute of limitations didn’t apply while Parker had left the state and was living on the run with Dial.
Assistant District Attorney Eric Yarborough said prosecutors had no way of knowing whether Parker had assisted in the escape until the couple was discovered more than a decade later.
“We knew we had an escape for certain in 1994 ... but we didn’t know where Dial was or Parker was,” he said. “We didn’t know what they were doing. Only they did. Once they were found, the investigation to ascertain whether she was a victim or part of a crime ensued.”
Yarborough said it also took prosecutors a long time to wade through a long and complex investigative report before filing criminal charges against Parker.
After Dial and Parker were discovered living together in April 2005, prosecutors waited three more years to charge Parker with assisting in Dial’s escape. The convicted killer, who maintained that he kidnapped Parker and held her against her will by threatening to harm her family, has since died in prison.