Witnesses portray late Nichols Hill fire chief's wife as victim, killer

Attorneys for both sides made opening statements Wednesday morning in the El Reno, Oklahoma, murder trial of Rebecca Bryan, who is accused of shooting her husband, Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan, at their Mustang home.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Modified: May 8, 2013 at 10:06 pm •  Published: May 8, 2013

He pointed to a burglary six months before the shooting in which a Ruger .380 pistol identical to the one recovered from the Bryans' dryer was stolen from the home of Keith Bryan's son.

“The evidence is going to show this is a rush to judgment case,” James said.

Hesse detailed text messages sent by Rebecca Bryan the day before the shooting in which she unsuccessfully tried to seduce two men while she attended a work conference in Tulsa.

She texted topless photos to both of them and sent one a photo of her genitals with the phrase “Ride this, cowboy,” Hesse said.

The next day, Rebecca Bryan stopped by the McLoud home of a man she met through her job, and the two had sex, Hesse said. She then returned home. She and Keith Bryan visited with Proctor at their house during the evening.

Proctor testified she left the house about 9:30 p.m. Half an hour later, Bryan called 911. She also called Proctor, who returned to the house to support her while police and emergency medical workers tended to her husband.

Bryan also read text messages to Proctor during the ride to the hospital in which she pleaded with a former lover to take her back and told him she soon would be inheriting some money and planned to move to his hometown of Hugo.

Scene of the crime

Mustang police Lt. James Davis and EMSA medical technician Michael Ward also testified Wednesday.

Davis, the first officer at the scene of the shooting, detailed what he saw when he arrived.

Keith Bryan was sitting in a reclined position on the living room couch with a bullet wound above his right ear. Davis told the jury he spoke with Rebecca Bryan about what happened. She said she was sitting on a chair in the living room when a man in his mid-20s came in through the garage and shot her husband.

She told Davis the man then turned to her and said “I'm sorry, ma'am, but he should have (expletive) hired me,” before leaving the way he came in and driving off in a small, dark pickup.

Ward said he heard Bryan say she was coming out of the bedroom when the intruder came in, contradicting the story she gave Davis.

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