EL RENO — Wearing an orange-and-white-striped jail suit and glasses, with shackles on her feet, Rebecca Bryan walked slowly through a Canadian County courtroom and smiled at her son, Kent Bryan, and mouthed the words, “I love you.”
The wife of slain Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan was charged Friday with first-degree murder and appeared in court for her initial arraignment. She was arrested Sept. 23 in the shooting death of her husband in their Mustang home at 1320 W Rose Hill Drive.
Bryan's attorney, Gary James, entered a not guilty plea on her behalf.
“They've got to prove we did it,” James said after the hearing. “You've probably seen 2 percent of the evidence in this case. Reserve judgment.”
Prosecutor Paul Hesse asked that Bryan be held in the Canadian County jail without bail. James said he will file a bond request. Bryan's next court date is set for 9 a.m. Nov. 4.
Hesse declined to comment on the case.
Keith Bryan, 52, died of a gunshot wound to the head on Sept. 20.
Rebecca Bryan, 52, claimed an intruder shot her husband and fled in a pickup.
She told a 911 dispatcher a man 25 or 26 years old, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, shot her husband and then apologized and said the fire chief should have hired him.
She was arrested at an Oklahoma City hotel after investigators said they found a .380-caliber handgun, a spent shell casing and a glove in a clothes dryer in her house. Ammunition and a handgun box were found between the mattress and box springs on what appeared to be her side of the bed, they said.
Investigators said the dryer was in a utility room and was not in the pathway Bryan told police an intruder took from the garage to the living room and back.
Bryan gave investigators written consent to search the house.
Search warrants filed this week show that DNA samples were taken from Rebecca Bryan, and her husband's cellphone was among items taken from the home.
Bryan filed for divorce in January 2010, but the couple were living together in the house at the time of his death.
On her way out of the courtroom Friday, Bryan waved to her son.
James said her other son, Trent Bryan, is an El Reno firefighter who was unable to attend the hearing. Both sons have been supportive of their mother and have visited her in jail, James said.
“She's got a very good family,” he said.