The Pryor Times

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October 21, 2011

Cobb trial - Friday morning

PRYOR — Another person has testified Mike Cobb said his estranged wife was going to kill him.

Mike Cobb was killed and burned in a house fire April 28, 2009. His estranged wife, Wendy Cobb, is on trial for first degree murder with malice aforethought in Mayes County District Court.

Mike Cobb’s sister, Tammy Lee, testified Friday morning. She was crying and refused to look at Wendy Cobb.

Lee said on April 9 she had a conversation with her brother. “He called me upset because he found a toolbox under the bed with and mail and pictures of Nick Shires,” Lee said.

Shires has testified he was Wendy Cobb’s boyfriend and at her direction and according to her plan, struck Mike Cobb with a baseball bat, dragged him inside the Cobb home, doused it with gasoline and set it on fire.

“He said if anything happened to him; he thought Wendy was going to kill him,” Lee said.

Lee said in a cell phone conversation the night of the crime, Wendy told her she and her children were home when the fire started. “She said she and the kids got out OK and Mike left on the motorcycle. I knew that was a lie.”

Johnny Cobb, Mike’s father, testified Wendy Cobb and her son were getting a divorce, but Wendy moved back into their home “probably a couple of weeks” before the fire.

Johnny Cobb said Mike was having financial problems. “We had to help him a little bit.”

Johnny said Kay Smith, one of Mike’s co-workers, called him the night of the fire. “She said we can’t find Mike and we understand his house is on fire.” Johnny said he called Wendy around 9:30 p.m. to tell her the house was ablaze. “I don’t know where she was. I understood she was in the truck with the kids.”

Johnny waited in the storage shed at the scene. He said the building had “more stuff in it than usual.”

Wendy was also waiting in the storage building. When her friend Beth Dobbs arrived, Johnny said, “she was glad to see her. She said ‘I’m glad you’re here Beth. You’re my alibi.”

Defense attorney Paul Brunton asked Johnny if his son and daughter-in-law had regular rummage sales. Johnny said they had sales sometimes. Brunton asserted the extra things inside the shed were for an upcoming garage sale.

Shires testified Thursday that Wendy took things from the house she put in the storage building in preparation for the fire.

Ken Fox is married to Nick Shires’ mother. He testified Wendy and Nick had dated. He and Janelle, Nick’s mother, went to the Cobb home once for dinner. Fox said the relationship “seemed to be serious to Nick.”

At that dinner party, Fox testified Wendy said Mike had stopped making payments on the home so it would go into foreclosure and he could “get it back. She said she’d burn it down before he could get it back.”

Fox confirmed Wendy collected Shires at his home around noon the day of the fire. He said she returned in the late evening before dark to drop off Shires’ cell phone.

Fox said a motorcycle Shires had been riding was in his garage after the fire. He testified he told Shires he had to remove the bike. “He didn’t have a driver’s license; he shouldn’t have had it to begin with,” Fox said.

Defense attorney Roger Williams asked Fox if Shires and his brother Dustin had lived at his home. Fox said yes. He asked if Fox had ever kicked them out.

“I tried to get them to be adult men and do what they were supposed to do,” Fox said, “or they didn’t need to live with me.”

In his testimony, Shires admitted to using methamphetamine and being high when he committed the crime.

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