It is the stuff made-for-TV movies are made of and the kind of case true crime shows like City Confidential live for. The trial of Rebecca Bryan combines sex, scandal, and murder with the kind of shock value TV networks know brings ratings. A woman accused of infidelity and aggressive sexuality is charged with the murder of her husband, the fire chief of an affluent area of the Oklahoma City metro. After two weeks of testimony, the prosecution has rested its case against Rebecca Bryan.
The realtor is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband of 33 years, Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan. The chief was killed after being shot in the head at his Mustang home on September 20, 2011. In a 911 call, "Becky" Bryan provided a description of the man she says entered her home and shot Keith Bryan as he lay on the couch, telling her he was sorry but that her husband should have hired him.
Based on Mrs. Bryan's account, police began looking for a suspect who allegedly fled in a pickup, and the Nichols Hills Fire Department was locked down.
Later, investigators discovered a blanket with bullet holes, a gun, a rubber glove, and a spent shell casing in a clothes dryer that they say was not on the path described by Becky Bryan as the route the assailant took in and out of the house. The gun was Mrs. Bryan's, and was allegedly the same type of weapon used to murder Keith Bryan.
Prosecutors subsequently charged Chief Bryan's wife with first degree murder.To support its case against Rebecca Bryan, prosecutors called in a string of witnesses that provided lurid details about the woman's infidelity, her alleged obsession with an ex-lover, and sex-crazed actions in the days and hours before and after her husband's murder.
The prosecution's evidence and witnesses allege that just hours before the shooting, Rebecca Bryan sent her former lover a message that she was soon to inherit a large sum of money, which she would use to purchase a home near him. She allegedly initiated sex with another man the day of her husband's death, and then showed cell phone pictures of a man's genitals to her friends en route to the hospital after her husband's shooting and admitted to having sex with a man other than her husband earlier in the day.
Bryan's defense lawyer presented witnesses who said that Bryan had a history of saying shocking things in order to maintain control of her emotions in difficult times, and that she was a loving and compassionate woman. He also challenged police investigation, asking why detectives did not fingerprint the dryer in which the gun was found and did not photograph the shell casing. He asked why detectives did not review surveillance video of nearby businesses for a pickup matching the description of the alleged intruder's vehicle.
During cross-examination, an investigator admitted that it was possible for the gunshot residue found on Rebecca Bryan's hands to have come from sitting nearby when her husband was shot, rather than from shooting a gun.
With all of the testimony about bizarre behavior and sexual exploits and with allegations of shoddy police work, the murder trial of Rebecca Bryan has captured media and public attention. Many Oklahomans will certainly be curious about the outcome of the trial. Testimony is expected to resume today as the defense makes its case, and some analysts believe the case is likely to go to jury this afternoon.