Sister seeks justice for murdered Antlers man

By: Nicolette Schleisman Email
By: Nicolette Schleisman Email

ANTLERS, OK -- The family of an antlers man found murdered in his own home last November, is outraged after learning that his accused killer will not go to jail.

Garland Cogburn died after he was hit in the head with a hatchet last November. Investigators say Robert Parsons admitted to them that he killed Cogburn, but later pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

"My brother was a sweet, loving man, he was fiesty as everybody says, but he loved people. He was in the twilight years of his life befriended someone, and because he befriended this animal, he lost his life," said Joanie Cogburn, Garland's sister.

Joanie Cogburn's says she's shocked to learn the man she believes killed her brother will not go to jail. Instead, District Attorney, Mark Matloff says Robert Parsons will spend an undetermined amount of time in a secure mental facility.

The Executive Director for the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, Joe Robertson, explained why Parsons will likely never make it to a prison cell.

"In this case, there was no evidence other than, yes, this person was laboring under mental defect at the time this occurred. [... ]So there was nothing to try," said Robertson.

But, Joanie Cogburn says that explanation isn't good enough.

"The DA and the assistant DA prepared us for nothing. They didn't say they were going to accept this plea of innocence by reasons of temporary insanity. We knew nothing about it until I heard it in court," said Cogburn.

The District attorney is confident that Parsons will remain in the facility until doctors deem him fit to be released. Attorneys tell us that they have never seen a person who committed a homicide be set free.

"They're confined until they're no longer a danger to society. No one can tell you when that may be or if that will ever occur," said Robertson.

Even still, Cogburn is seeking justice for her brother.

"I would challenge each and every registered voter in the counties of McCurtain, Choctaw, and Pushmataha... Make it known to the district attorney how they feel about this. I don't know when his election is or if he's re-running... Make it known.. Please for God's sake make it known with the district attorney that you're unhappy with the outcome of this fiasco," said Cogburn.

Parsons will undergo an evaluation by the Oklahoma Forensic Center to decide if Parsons is presently mentally ill and if he is a danger to society .


Sherman 4201 Texoma Pkwy (903) 892 -8123 Ardmore 2624 S. Commerce (580) 223-0946
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 159949875 - http://kxii.com/a?a=159949875