EL RENO — Murder defendant Rebecca Bryan wept Wednesday morning at the conclusion of her last hearing inside the courtroom before her jury trial begins next week.
Handcuffed and wearing striped orange-and-white jail clothes, she wiped tears from her face as she talked at a defense table with defense attorney Gary James.
She is accused in a first-degree murder charge of shooting her husband, Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan, inside their Mustang home Sept. 20, 2011. He died at a hospital the next day. He was 52.
She had an extramarital affair in 2009, and prosecutors plan to put on evidence she wanted to reunite with the former lover. She was arrested after the gun used in the shooting was found inside a clothes dryer at the home.
She blames an intruder for the shooting.
Her defense attorney said she began crying after the hearing when he told her about some new defense evidence that had turned up. He would not elaborate.
During the hearing Wednesday, Canadian County District Judge Gary Miller ruled prosecutors can put on evidence about her lack of grief after the shooting. Prosecutors contend that evidence shows a consciousness of guilt.
The judge ruled witnesses can describe what they observed about her demeanor but cannot give opinions.
Her defense attorney indicated in court he may use an expert on grief during the trial to counter the prosecution testimony about her demeanor.
If convicted, she faces life in prison or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
She will have her 54th birthday during the trial.
On the night of the shooting, Rebecca Bryan called the former lover and left a message that she still loved him, that she was thinking of buying a house near where he lives and that she was going to be inheriting a significant amount of money, according to court records and testimony at the preliminary hearing.
Keith Bryan had known about the affair but told others that “this past year has been the best year of our marriage,” according to a defense notice.