The Norman Transcript


February 17, 2012

Charges filed against former OU student

NORMAN — The Cleveland County District Attorney’s office on Thursday filed 19 felony charges ranging from first-degree burglary to first-degree rape against a former OU student who police say confessed to raping fellow students over a 15-year period.

District Attorney Greg Mashburn filed 10 counts of first-degree burglary, five counts of first-degree rape, three counts of sexual battery and one count of forcible oral sodomy against Robert Howard Bruce, a Colorado prison inmate who lived in Norman while he was a student at OU in the early 1980s.

Prosecutors say Bruce confessed to 14 Norman assaults that occurred between 1985 and 2001, many in the southeast part of the city. They were able to confirm most of them by reviewing old reports.

Police allege he selected victims at random and often used chloroform to knock them out before the assault. Bruce is suspected of a consistent method of breaking into windows and adjusting thermostats, according to probable cause affidavits.

Bruce is suspected of assaults on women on Drake Drive, South Flood Avenue, Harvard Drive, Donna Drive, Biloxi Drive, Deonne Circle, Kenwood Drive, Page Circle, Manor Drive and Canterbury Avenue.Though Bruce is now a suspect in several of Norman’s previously unsolved crimes, Norman Police Det. Jim Parks said it took a long time before he could even find a suspect.

“It wasn’t until almost the end of ’09 when we finally got CODIS hits letting us know that we had a suspect down in Colorado whose DNA matched,” Parks said.

CODIS, short for Combined DNA Index System, tied Bruce’s DNA to incidences that occurred not only in Norman, but also in Albuquerque, N.M., and in Austin and Lubbock, Texas.

Though Bruce is now incarcerated in Colorado after he was sentenced to six years for sexual assault, 24 years for burglary, 64 years for trying to kill a police officer and five years for possession of an explosive/incendiary device, the district attorney’s office said this is only a small hurdle in prosecuting Bruce.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Body 1 Police identify woman found dead Monday

    Norman police have identified a woman found dead in her home at 2202 Donna Drive Monday afternoon. Police responded at 1:25 p.m. to the residence of Cassandra Thompson, 30, after receiving a report that she had not shown up for work ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents speak out about document regarding shelter photos

    Norman and metro-area residents showed up in overwhelming numbers, many in red shirts, for an Animal Shelter Oversight Board meeting Monday night demanding for their opinions to be heard....

    July 29, 2014

  • Mixon’s attorney says athlete acted in self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense. “This past Friday morning, Joe Mixon found himself in a situation ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • Be ready for ‘prolonged’ Gaza war, prime minister says

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Signaling an escalation of Israel’s Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a “prolonged” war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to ...

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • County moves forward on nursing home bonds

    Cleveland County commissioners on Monday approved a resolution authoring a county trust to issue up to $15 million for a nursing home on the site of the former Whispering Pines nursing home at 501 E. Robinson St....

    July 29, 2014

  • Deal to improve health care costs $17B

    WASHINGTON — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Little Axe Health Center hosting blood drive

    Norman-area blood donors this summer will not only save lives when they donate with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), they’ll also get “Feel Cool” T-shirts and two tickets to the Oklahoma City Zoo....

    July 29, 2014