SHAWNEE — Cathy Byus' husband told a friend he killed her after finding text messages from another man on her cellphone along with a photo of the man's genitals, according to a police affidavit.
Justin Byus, 25, was arrested on a murder complaint after police got a call from the friend March 21 and found the body of Cathy Byus, 35, in the couple's house.
She died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the state medical examiner's office.
Byus did not speak to police. His attorney, Tommy Adler, said Wednesday Byus is consumed with grief.
“I don't think this is going to be a question of who done it. I think it's going to be a question of why,” Adler said. “I've known Justin for many years. I know this isn't the kind of thing he is capable of in his right mind.”
Adler said there “will be a time and place” for Justin Byus' side of the story to come out.
“At this point in time, I'm advising him to remain silent until we've gathered all the information available.”
According to the police affidavit, Justin Byus spent much of that night with a friend, Thomas Chandler. Chandler lived with the Byuses for about a month and said the couple fought often but their fights were always “pretty tame.”
Chandler told police he had dinner with the couple at their home about 6:30 p.m. March 20 and was with Justin Byus that evening. The couple had an argument shortly before Chandler and Justin Byus left to go to a strip club in Oklahoma City.
Chandler and Byus stayed at the club until about 2:15 a.m. March 21. Chandler told police Byus had beer at the club and ran off the road once as they drove to Chandler's home in Tecumseh.
After Byus returned home, he called Chandler and told him he had his wife's phone and discovered she had been texting another man and making fun of him. There were also pictures of the other man's genitals on her phone.
Chandler said Byus was very angry and threatened to kill Cathy Byus. He said he told Justin Byus not to do anything stupid and offered to let him stay at his house for the night. Justin Byus declined and said he would cool off.
Justin Byus called Chandler again about 3:30 a.m. and said he had killed his wife. Chandler did not believe him, but called 911 after calling Byus back and confirming that he was telling the truth.
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, Adler said.
Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon said he expects to file murder charges against Byus next week. He is being held at the Pottawatomie County jail without bail.