Murder charge filed against husband of slain Shawnee mom

Justin Byus, 25, was charged with murder Friday in the death of his wife, Cathy Byus, 35. According to a police affidavit, Justin Byus called a friend and said he had shot his wife after finding text messages on her phone from another man.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Modified: April 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm •  Published: April 5, 2013

— Prosecutors filed a murder charge Friday against Justin Byus, 25, who is accused in the death of his wife, Cathy Byus, 35, who was shot to death in their home last month.

Cathy Byus' death came less than three years after her parents were killed. Gary and Linda Haas, of Tecumseh, were found dead Aug. 2, 2010, in their burned-out travel trailer in New Mexico.

An escaped Arizona inmate was recaptured and charged in their deaths.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by police, Justin Byus spent the hours before his wife's death with a friend. The two went to a strip club in Oklahoma City.

After he returned home about 3 a.m. March 21, Justin Byus called the friend and said he found text messages from another man on Cathy Byus' phone, including a picture of the man's genitals.

He called the friend again a few minutes later and said he had killed his wife, according to the affidavit. Police arrived and found Cathy Byus shot to death.

Justin Byus' attorney, Tommy Adler, said Byus will fight the case vigorously.

“When all of the information comes out about the facts and circumstances surrounding the events of that night, we believe it will be clear that this was something other than a first-degree murder,” Adler said.

The couple's 2-year-old son was home when his mother was killed and was taken into custody by the state Department of Human Services. He is in the care of relatives now.

Cathy Byus was buried Wednesday in Southwest City, Mo.

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