Man committed to mental facility in Pushmataha Co. murder

By  | 

ANTLERS, OK -- A gruesome murder case came to an end Wednesday morning; after the man accused of murdering an elderly man with a hatchet, was sentenced.

Robert Parsons was led from the courthouse Wednesday morning after being sentenced to a mental facility.

Since November, Joanie Cogburn has been waiting for justice for her brother, Garland, who was murdered when he was bludgeoned with a hatchet in November.

"Just empty empty empty," said Cogburn.

A judge found Robert Parsons was a danger to society and was ordered to be immediately committed to Oklahoma Department of Mental Health in Vinita.

Attorney Charlie Rowland was not part of this specific case but was in the courtroom during the proceedings, and is knowledgeable of cases like these.

"Involuntary committment is whenever you are ordered by a court to go into essentially what we call mental institutions you are going and you do not have the opportunity to decide whenever you leave. And you don't have the opportunity to decide whether you go. The court makes the determination that you go," said Rowland.

Parsons was charged with 1st degree murder in November, but because the court found him insane at the time of the murder. He was able to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. A plea the state accepted.

"Whenever someone is involuntarily committed on the same grounds that Mr. Parsons' was. It can be for the rest of his life or it can be until the treating physician determines that he is no longer a danger to the public," said Rowland.

Wednesday was Cogburn's last time to see the man accused of killing her brother, in court.

"There's no closure. He's basking in Vinita. Whatever that's like. However bad it is, its not bad enough for this animal," said Cogburn.

Joanie Cogburn is angered by the way District Attorney, Mark Matloff, handled the case.

"He has not represented our family at all," said Cogburn.

I reached out to the District Attorney's office for comment but he refused to make any additional statements.