EL RENO — Despite defense efforts to point out inconsistent evidence collection at the scene, a judge ordered a Mustang woman to stand trial in the Sept. 20 shooting death of her husband, the Nichols Hills fire chief.
Special Judge Jack McCurdy II ruled Wednesday that evidence provided during a preliminary hearing was sufficient for Rebecca L. Bryan, 52, to be brought to trial on a count of first-degree murder.
She is accused of shooting her husband, Keith Bryan, 52, inside their Mustang home at 1320 W Rose Hill Drive. He suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was taken to a hospital, where he died the next morning.
In a 911 phone call, Rebecca Bryan blamed an intruder for the shooting. She was arrested after a handgun, which investigators said was used in the shooting, was found in the clothes dryer inside her home.
A blanket with three round holes also was inside the dryer. One investigator testified that it looked like something had been shot through it.
Bryan is scheduled to appear for arraignment May 22 in El Reno. Canadian County District Attorney Mike Fields said counsels will agree on a trial date at the arraignment and move forward with the case.
Defense attorney Gary James said Wednesday that he expects many of the evidence issues to be challenged at the trial, including the gun that investigators say was used in the shooting and gunshot residue allegedly found on Bryan's hands.
During testimony, James questioned agents about why crime scene analysts didn't take fingerprints from the dryer or photos of a shell casing that was found in the utility room.
“I think we found some things that challenge the issue of probable cause. First-degree murder cases ... (it's) very rare if you're going to be kicked out of the preliminary hearing level,” James said.
Friends and relatives attended the second half of Bryan's preliminary hearing Wednesday and heard testimony from three Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents. The hearing was continued from March 14.
Agent Martin Solorzano testified about his interaction with Rebecca Bryan and her demeanor after her husband was shot.
He said he was called to investigate the shooting about 11 p.m. Sept. 20. He said Bryan seemed calm and wasn't showing emotion when he interviewed her at the hospital.
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