Trial begins in Nichols Hills fire chief’s murder

EL RENO, Okla. – Opening statements in the high-profile case against a Canadian County woman accused of murdering her husband, began Wednesday morning at the Canadian County courthouse.

Becky Bryan contends it was an intruder who broke into her Mustang home back in Sept. 2011 and shot and killed her husband.

The victim is Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan.

Prosecutors portrayed a woman obsessed with a former lover and money while the defense pointed the finger at someone else. 

“They painted her as a woman who was seeking other men that clearly was not in love with her husband and did want, perhaps, to get out of this relationship,” attorney and legal analyst David Slane said.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Hesse told the jury Becky was especially desperate to get back together with an ex lover, Mark Holbrook.

Hesse said she had lied to Holbrook about being pregnant with his child.

Hours before her husband was fatally shot, Hesse said Becky texted Holbrook 15 times in 10 minutes, saying she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him.

Bryan’s friend, Debbie Proctor, testified she was visiting the Bryan’s the night of the shooting when Becky told her, suddenly, she had to leave.

After the shooting, Proctor said Becky called her to come back to the house.

Proctor testified that on the way to OU Medical Center, where Keith was being taken because he was still alive, Becky talked about an inheritance and said the only thing she felt bad about was having sex with another man, earlier that same day.

Proctor said Becky also showed her a naked photo of that man on her cell phone during the car ride to the hospital. 

“Almost like she was bragging to an extent, ‘Look what I got today’ and showing a picture of this man’s private parts,” Slane said. “And I think (Proctor’s) reaction was ‘I don’t want to hear it.’”

Defense attorney Gary James argued the OSBI rushed to judgment about Bryan’s guilt and did a poor job of collecting evidence.

He said a former Mustang officer saw a man who matched the description of the intruder who Becky claimed shot her husband.

He said that man was quickly driving away from the area in a vehicle that matched Becky’s suspect vehicle description.

Becky had testified when the intruder shot her husband, he told her he was sorry, but “he should have hired me.”

James said there had been a man looking for work in the neighborhood as Keith was busy putting up a brick wall around their hot tub.

The 911 call Becky made was played for the jury.

Prosecutors said Bryan was more concerned with who was going to show up than with her husband’s condition.

Testimony continues Thursday.