EL RENO — Rebecca Bryan had sex with at least two men, one of them a stranger, and tried to seduce other men in the days before her husband was shot to death, according to a prosecutor and a witness who testified Wednesday at her murder trial.
Bryan is accused of killing Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan, her husband of 33 years, at their Mustang home on Sept. 20, 2011.
Debbie Proctor, a friend of Rebecca Bryan's, was among a group of people who rode with Bryan to the hospital after her husband was shot. She told jurors Bryan showed her a photo on her cellphone of another man's penis during the ride and told Proctor she had sex with the man that day.
Proctor testified Bryan told her she felt guilty about having sex with another man on the day her husband was shot.
Bryan also told her she had sex with a man she met at a Dallas bar four days before the shooting.
Attorneys for both sides made opening statements Wednesday morning as Bryan's trial got underway in Canadian County District Court.
Bryan's defense attorney argued the couple had a strained marriage but had reconciled before an intruder shot Keith Bryan, 52, in front of his client, telling her the Nichols Hills fire chief should have hired him.
Keith Bryan was shot just after 10 p.m. at the couple's house, 1320 W Rose Hill Drive. He died the next day at a hospital.
Investigators turned their attention to Rebecca Bryan, 54, after a gun identified as being used in the shooting was found in a clothes dryer at the house.
The gun belonged to the Bryans, and a box and ammunition was found under Rebecca Bryan's side of the mattress in their bedroom, police said.
During his opening statement to the jury, Assistant District Attorney Paul Hesse said Rebecca Bryan ended the couple's 33-year marriage when her affection for a former lover boiled over.
“From all outward appearances, it seemed like they had a good marriage,” Hesse said.
“Toward the end, though, it was a marriage in name only. The defendant was seeking love and attention from many men.”
Rush to judgment?
Gary James, Rebecca Bryan's attorney, dismissed prosecutors' portrayal of his client as disaffected and unemotional while paramedics tried to revive her husband.
He pointed to a burglary six months before the shooting in which a Ruger .380 pistol identical to the one recovered from the Bryans' dryer was stolen from the home of Keith Bryan's son.
“The evidence is going to show this is a rush to judgment case,” James said.
Hesse detailed text messages sent by Rebecca Bryan the day before the shooting in which she unsuccessfully tried to seduce two men while she attended a work conference in Tulsa.
She texted topless photos to both of them and sent one a photo of her genitals with the phrase “Ride this, cowboy,” Hesse said.
The next day, Rebecca Bryan stopped by the McLoud home of a man she met through her job, and the two had sex, Hesse said. She then returned home. She and Keith Bryan visited with Proctor at their house during the evening.
Proctor testified she left the house about 9:30 p.m. Half an hour later, Bryan called 911. She also called Proctor, who returned to the house to support her while police and emergency medical workers tended to her husband.
Bryan also read text messages to Proctor during the ride to the hospital in which she pleaded with a former lover to take her back and told him she soon would be inheriting some money and planned to move to his hometown of Hugo.
Scene of the crime
Mustang police Lt. James Davis and EMSA medical technician Michael Ward also testified Wednesday.
Davis, the first officer at the scene of the shooting, detailed what he saw when he arrived.
Keith Bryan was sitting in a reclined position on the living room couch with a bullet wound above his right ear. Davis told the jury he spoke with Rebecca Bryan about what happened. She said she was sitting on a chair in the living room when a man in his mid-20s came in through the garage and shot her husband.
She told Davis the man then turned to her and said “I'm sorry, ma'am, but he should have (expletive) hired me,” before leaving the way he came in and driving off in a small, dark pickup.
Ward said he heard Bryan say she was coming out of the bedroom when the intruder came in, contradicting the story she gave Davis.