Witness defends investigation into Nichols Hills fire chief's death

Testimony in the murder trial of Becky Bryan continued Wednesday in Canadian County District Court.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Published: May 15, 2013

James later got angry as he questioned Thompson about a witness who said he saw a pickup driving near the area of the shooting that matched Becky Bryan's description of the intruder's pickup.

The witness said he saw a small dark pickup on State Highway 152 and Czech Hall Road that drove east toward a bar about 10:05 p.m. the night of the shooting.

The only entrance and exit from the Bryans' neighborhood feed onto State Highway 152, and Czech Hall is the first major intersection to the east.

Thompson said she took the report two days after the shooting while she was at the Mustang Police Department and told two other investigating agents about it.

“Both of those agents have taken the stand in this case and said they did not have that information,” James said, his tone raising.

Thompson said she didn't write a report on the interview until she rediscovered it in her notes last month.

“It was an unintentional oversight,” Thompson said.

No one followed up with the witness until a few weeks before the trial began.

“Not until 18 months after the fact,” James said, his face reddening as his volume rose. “No one went out to the businesses that might have had surveillance video and looked and said, “Hey there's the killer. There is his pickup just like this woman has been saying.'”

Testimony during the first week of the trial focused mostly on Becky Bryan's behavior in the days leading up to the shooting and the hours immediately afterward.

James has argued investigators rushed to a conclusion that Becky Bryan shot her husband and ignored other leads. He has also brought up a burglary at the home of the Bryans' son in which a gun identical to the one found in the dryer was stolen, suggesting it could have been used to shoot Keith Bryan.

Testimony is scheduled to continue Thursday.

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