By Michelle Seeber
A 54-year-old man convicted in the September 1974 shooting deaths of a family of four in Woodward is coming up for parole.
Bobby Wayne Collins committed “probably one of the worst crimes Woodward County has seen,” District Attorney Hollis Thorp said.
Thorp and Karla Taylor, Woodward County victim witness coordinator, are encouraging the public to write letters to Pardon and Parole Board members asking that Collins remain in prison.
Collins was convicted of first degree murder and originally given the death penalty by a Garfield County jury in 1975. The case was moved to Garfield County from Woodward County.
Shortly after Collins’ conviction the death penalty that existed in Oklahoma at that time was ruled unconstitutional and Collins’ sentence was eventually changed to life in prison, Thorp said.
Collins has been coming up for parole review every three years since then.
According to Taylor, the members of the Thrasher family killed by Collins were 28-year-old Mervin, the father; 27-year-old Sandra, the wife; and their children, nine-month-old Robert and four-year-old Penny.
Thorp said Collins knew of the family, who lived near Boiling Springs State Park in a small frame house, because Mervin Thrasher would fill up his car with gas at a station where Collins worked.
Mervin worked for the Michigan-Wisconsin Pipeline Co. “I think the (family) had just moved to Woodward,” Thorp said.
Collins used a .22 calibre rifle to kill the family, Thorp said.
“In the report it said he hog-tied the couple before shooting them numerous times,” Thorp said. “He shot the little boy in the face as he stared down the barrel of the gun, according to his confession.”
At the time of the Thrasher murders, Collins was 20 years old.
No court affidavits concerning the crime are available today, Thorp said.
By Michelle Seeber
- Local News
Retiring officer honored during special ceremony
It was standing room only Thursday afternoon in a retirement celebration at Woodward City Hall for veteran police officer, Joe Castor.
Award recognizes oil industry leaders
The Bobby Joe Cudd Legacy Award is unique in about everything that defines it. One need not work in the oil field long to know it is an honor to be recognized in an industry known for a kind of hard-scrabble grit that one must possess to persevere in it.
Fists of Fury coming to Woodward August 9
Cage fights are returning to Woodward on Aug. 9 with Fists of Fury 7.
City holding town hall meeting July 31
A town hall meeting is scheduled today (July 31) at 6 p.m. in the Pioneer Room.
Sculptures added to Conference Center
The Woodward Visual Arts Commission dedicated its newest acquisitions on Wednesday.
Enrollment dates set for schools
With school quickly approaching, it is time to get your enrollment information in and Woodward Public Schools have set their enrollment and other key dates.
Marijuana petition attracting signatures
OKLAHOMA CITY — Medical marijuana may be the state’s newest gateway drug — to voting.
Glow run scheduled in Alva
ALVA--A popular new trend in running is coming to Woods County.
Boy, 7, drowns in weekend accident
A seven-year-old boy died over the weekend when he fell into a swimming pool at a private residence in the Wheatridge addition, according to Woodward police reports.
Commission OKs grader financing
Monday morning in their weekly meeting, Woodward County Commissioners approved the financing on a new John Deere motor grader and discussed in detail the upcoming County Officers and Deputies Association meeting the county will host this October.
- More Local News Headlines
- Retiring officer honored during special ceremony