Oklahoma man's Tennessee trial delayed

Thursday, November 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ An Oklahoma man charged with killing people in three states will go on trial for the fatal stabbing of a service station owner in Tennessee.

Steven Ray Thacker was supposed to go on trial on Monday, but the proceeding was rescheduled for Feb. 4, a Tennessee court spokeswoman said Wednesday. The trial is set to last two weeks.

Thacker, 30, faces a first-degree murder count in the Jan. 2, 2000, stabbing death of Ray Patterson, 52, of Dyersburg, Tenn. Thacker allegedly killed Patterson at his service station after the credit card Thacker tried to use was denied.

Thacker, of Chouteau, also is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of Bixby resident Laci Dawn Hill, 25, and restaurant supervisor Forrest Reed Boyd, 24, of Aldrich, Mo.

Hill's body was found in an abandoned Mayes County shack on Dec. 29, 1999, six days after she reported missing. Boyd's body was found Jan. 1, 2000, in his home.

``We're extremely frustrated,'' said Larry Griffin, Hill's brother. ``. 5/8. 5/8. It's a long process and we're very disappointed in the way the system is working and how long it's taken to even go to the first trial.''

The trial was moved from Dyersburg to Tiptonville because of concern about whether Thacker could get a fair trial. Tennessee prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Thacker, who's being held in the Riverbend Correctional Facility in Nashville.

Neither Tennessee prosecutor Phillip Bivens nor Thacker's attorneys could be reached immediately for comment.

It's uncertain where Thacker will be tried after his case in Tennessee is finished. Both Oklahoma and Missouri reportedly have prepared the proper extradition papers.