Witness defends investigation into Nichols Hills fire chief's death

Testimony in the murder trial of Becky Bryan continued Wednesday in Canadian County District Court.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Published: May 15, 2013
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— Rebecca Bryan's attorney continued Wednesday to challenge authorities testifying at her murder trial for how they handled the investigation of her husband's shooting, but a crime scene investigator hit back, saying Bryan obviously lied to OSBI agents about the shooting.

Francia Thompson, a crime scene investigator for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, testified about evidence found in the Bryan home in the hours after Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan, 52, was shot to death Sept. 20, 2011.

Becky Bryan, 54, claimed an intruder came in to the house through the garage and shot her husband once in the head. She said the man apologized to her and said her husband should have hired him. She said the man left the house the way he came in.

Investigators turned their attention to Becky Bryan after they found a gun, a spent shell casing and a rubber glove wrapped in a bullet-riddled blanket in the dryer in the home's utility room, which is not on the path from the garage to the living room.

The gun, later matched to the bullet fired into Keith Bryan's head, belonged to Becky Bryan and its serial number matched the serial number on a gun box under her side of the mattress in the couple's bedroom.

OSBI agents testified at length the past two days about the search of the Bryan home at 1320 W Rose Hill Drive. Gary James, Becky Bryan's attorney, succeeded Tuesday in getting case agent Shawn Wright to agree he could have taken further steps, such as fingerprinting the dryer.

James tried to continue that tactic Wednesday, but Thompson said there was no point in fingerprinting the dryer. Bryan told police and OSBI agents she followed the intruder out of the living room and the garage door and saw him get into a small dark pickup and drive away.

“From the statement the defendant gave law enforcement over and over again, the intruder never left that path to put anything in the dryer,” Thompson said. “At that point, it was clear she was lying. We would expect to find her prints there. It's her home.”

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