The Woodward News

Local News

June 25, 2009

Collins up for parole

By Michelle Seeber

Staff Writer

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.

Text Only
Local News
  • Board hears updates

    Woodward School Board members honored a group of Woodward FFA students for their service to the community during the board's monthly meeting Monday night.

    April 16, 2014

  • Red Cross sets open house Thursday

    Northwest Chapter of the American Red Cross is holding an open house at its Woodward office, 1209 9th St.

    April 16, 2014

  • Commission hears communications presentation

    Woodward County Commissioners heard an informative report from Pioneer Telephone Special Projects and Engineering Manager JR Ools regarding new and emerging communications technologies being made available in the region.

    April 15, 2014

  • Extension Service important to state

    Recia Garcia remembers.
    She remembers how the lives of those she met through 4-H and through her work as a 30-year veteran with the OSU Extension Service changed her in ways she still sees today.

    April 15, 2014

  • Legislation targeting Okla. judiciary stirs debate

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — For the first time since a bribery scandal rocked Oklahoma's Supreme Court 50 years ago, state lawmakers are considering tinkering with the way Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges are selected.

    April 13, 2014

  • Filing period brings some area races

    There will be a few races on the June 24 primary ballot and the November general election ballot in Northwest Oklahoma counties.
    The three-day filing period ended on Friday.

    April 13, 2014

  • walkerweb.jpg Walker promoted to Captain

    Stan Walker's father Samuel Walker was an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Officer from 1942 to 1946 before taking on another career in energy where he spent the rest of his working days in Northwest Oklahoma.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Reports, hires on agenda

    Woodward Board of Education members will take up a number of routine items as well as hire some teachers for the early childhood center at their meeting on Monday.

    April 13, 2014

  • Area school calendars

    School calendars April 14-19

    April 13, 2014

  • Red Cross recognizes local volunteer

    When Karen Daily, Red Cross volunteer and owner of Western Medical & Drug, gets up in the morning, it is with the purpose and understanding that she may need to offer some of her time to her community.

    April 13, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.