Wife of slain Nichols Hills fire chief booked into jail on first-degree murder complaint

Rebecca Bryan facing first-degree murder complaint in shooting death of husband, Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Modified: September 23, 2011 at 10:01 pm •  Published: September 23, 2011

Oklahoma City Fire Chief Keith Bryant's name is one letter away from his counterpart in Nichols Hills, and unlike Nichols Hills, Oklahoma City had gone through a recent hiring process.

Brown said investigators do not believe Rebecca Bryan had an accomplice.

“At this point in time, we have no belief that anyone else was involved in this, but we are still investigating,” Brown said.

Killing shocks

community

Mustang Police Chief Chuck Foley said the crime appears to be an isolated domestic case.

“For a homicide to occur here in Mustang is very rare,” Foley said. “It's a very safe, close-knit community, and this has been alarming to the citizens of Mustang.”

Matt Fleming, a neighbor of the Bryan family, said he saw Keith Bryan leave for work each morning in the Nichols Hills Fire Department vehicle but didn't talk to him.

“It's a quiet neighborhood. Everybody stays to themselves,” Fleming said

“I was shocked” by the shooting, he said.

Jim McNabb, the couple's pastor at The Bridge Assembly of God in Mustang, said he knew the family for 20 years but that they had stopped attending services as frequently as normal during the past year.

McNabb said the Bryans were active in the church, teaching Sunday school classes, singing in the choir and delivering meals to members of the congregation too sick to leave their homes.

“They even did premarital counseling,” McNabb said.

“They were both givers. The whole family was that way.”

As for his reaction to the news of Rebecca Bryan's arrest Friday on murder complaints, the pastor said he was “completely shocked” when he heard the media reports.

“We are just totally baffled by this whole thing,” said McNabb, adding that she once worked at the church as a bookkeeper. “Becky was a sharp, talented lady who was always helping people. I really don't have anything bad to say about her.”

McNabb said he's been in touch with the couple's two grown sons, Trent and Kent Bryan, since Rebecca Bryan's arrest. He said he spoke to both of them on Friday.

“You just can't imagine what they're going through,” he said.

“They don't even know what to feel or think. They're standing by their mom right now, absolutely. They love their mom and they love their dad.”

CONTRIBUTING:

Staff Writers Andrew Knittle and Sonya Colberg


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