Edmond man pleads guilty to stepmother’s murder

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EDMOND, Okla. – A teenager accused of murdering his stepmother has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

In April of 2017, Edmond police received a frantic 911 about a murder.

The caller told police he found his wife dead in the garage of his house and believed his son, 17-year-old Joshua Thomas Bryant, was responsible for her death.

Caller: “My son has killed my wife.”

Dispatcher: “He killed your wife? How’d he kill your wife?”

Caller: “I don’t know. I just found her. He had a crazy story and now he has stolen the car. I went looking for her and she’s in the garage. She’s been hit in the head. She’s dead.”

He told the dispatcher that when he got to the garage, he found her lying on the ground with a blanket over her head. When he lifted the blanket to see her, he could tell that she had been hit in the head.

He said he had no idea what sparked the violence, saying he was only gone for about 30 minutes.

Katherine Byant, photo cropped from Facebook

When Edmond officers arrived on scene, they found the body of 54-year-old Katherine Bryant in the garage.

After being taken into custody in Blackwell, Joshua Bryant admitted to hitting his stepmother in the head with a baseball bat, which caused her to lose consciousness.

Court documents state that Bryant sat on the kitchen floor for about five minutes to contemplate “his next actions.” At that point, the affidavit states that Bryant dragged Katherine into the garage before going to the living room for another five minutes to try “to make a decision on what to do next.”

Authorities say Bryant grabbed a .22 caliber rifle from the closet and shot Katherine Bryant in the back of the head.

During a preliminary hearing in October of 2017, defense attorney Scott Adams said Bryant suffers from depression and is prescribed medication to treat his ADHD. He says those factors played a role in his client’s judgment.

“It’s just a sad case. We’re trying to help him get through it, the family get through it and obviously Katherine’s family,” Adams said. “It’s just a tragic situation we’re trying to get everyone through.”

Joshua Thomas Bryant, 17

According to online court records, Bryant pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison with credit for time served.

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