Man accused in 1999 killing spree to return to Oklahoma

Saturday, May 4th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PRYOR, Okla. (AP) _ A Chouteau man accused of killing three people in a three-state crime spree will return to Oklahoma in the coming weeks to face charges in the death of a Bixby woman.

Steven Ray Thacker, 31, was convicted in February in the Jan. 2, 2000, stabbing death of Ray Patterson, a Tennessee tow truck operator.

His execution date is set for May 31, but Thacker is expected in the next few weeks to be brought to the jail in Mayes County, where he is accused of killing Laci Dawn Hill, 25.

Hill was found in a cabin in a remote section of Mayes County nearly six days after she was first reported missing on December 23, 1999. Thacker also is accused of killing Forrest Reed Boyd, of Aldrich, Mo., a day before Patterson was murdered.

``I'm just waiting for the paperwork to transport (Thacker from Tennessee),'' Mayes County Sheriff Frank Cantey said Friday.

District Attorney Gene Haynes said his office is seeking the death penalty for Thacker but no trial date has been set. The assignment of a state appointed defense team, an initial court appearance, a preliminary hearing and other legal formalities will occur before Thacker's trial, which isn't expected to begin this year, Haynes said.

Thacker is accused of going to Hill's home under the guise of inquiring about a pool table she and her husband were trying to sell.

According to court records, Thacker made purchases at a local Wal-Mart using Hill's ATM card on or around the day Hill was reported missing.

Five days later, Thacker's then-wife, Trina, saw a televised news report showing a security camera with Steven Thacker using Hill's card at the store, the affidavit states.

Trina Thacker notified authorities that the man shown on the security tape was her husband Steven. According to police accounts, Thacker fled the state shortly after the news accounts were made public and then killed Boyd.