EL RENO — Friends and family of Rebecca Bryan testified Friday at her murder trial that she was a loving and caring person, a stark contrast to the image of a sex-crazed killer portrayed by prosecutors.
The prosecution rested its case against Bryan on Friday morning. She is charged with the murder of her husband, Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan, 52, who was shot to death Sept. 20, 2011, in his Mustang home.
Rebecca Bryan, 54, blamed an intruder whom she said walked into the home at 1320 W Rose Hill Drive though the garage and shot her husband before apologizing and telling her the fire chief should have hired him.
Defense attorney Gary James called several of Rebecca Bryan's friends and family members to the stand Friday in an attempt to give jurors a sense of her personality and an explanation for some of the strange behavior friends said she showed after the shooting.
Her brother, David Reddick, said she was the primary caregiver of their mother for a time.
Brother tells of help
“Becky was always a person who helped people,” Reddick said. “She was the person who would pick up a wounded puppy.”
Friends previously testified Rebecca Bryan laughed while talking on the phone about the shooting in the hours after she called 911. Friends also said she showed them a picture of another man's penis and said she had sex with him that day.
Reddick is an ordained minister who officiated at Keith and Rebecca Bryan's wedding. He said his sister often said things for shock value as a way to control her emotions in stressful situations.
But Reddick and other friends who testified agreed on cross examination that laughing when a loved one was dying or joking about sex with another man were out of character for Rebecca Bryan.
Gloria Strother, Rebecca Bryan's sister, said she came to the Bryan home after the shooting and drove her sister and some of her friends to the hospital to see Keith Bryan.
She said Rebecca Bryan was sobbing and distraught when she arrived at the home. She said her sister's tone changed during the ride to the hospital, and she showed a picture of a man's penis to those in the back seat with her.
On cross-examination, Strother said she didn't hear everything going on in the back seat.
“They were sitting back there laughing and cutting up,” she said.
Testimony to resume
Testimony is scheduled to continue Monday, and the case could go to the jury as early as Monday afternoon.
James is expected to call an expert witness Monday. He has so far not countered OSBI experts who said Rebecca Bryan's Ruger LCP .380-caliber pistol was used to fire a bullet pulled from the couch after the shooting.
The pistol, a rubber glove, an empty shell casing and a bullet-holed blanket were found in the dryer in the home's utility room, which was not along the path Rebecca Bryan said the intruder took into or out of the house.