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KINGMAN, Kansas — Testimony continued Friday in the murder trial of Brett Seacat.
The day began with a focus on the fire that engulfed the Seacat home.
It ended with the jury hearing from Seacat for the first time. They watched part of a DVD showing a seven-hour police interview with Seacat.
Seacat is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated arson and child endangerment.
He is accused in the April 2011 shooting death of his wife Vashti Seacat, who had filed for divorce 16 days earlier.
In the taped interview, Brett talked about his wife’s alleged depression that she kept from everyone she knew.
“She was very concerned about any sort of weakness like that. She would not discuss it with me. I would have to get it out of her,” Brett said in the tape.
“She would occasionally have problems with depression over the time that I’ve known her,” he told police. “A big problem with that is, she would get depressed over something but she would never talk to anybody about being depressed.”
Defense attorneys are trying to raise reasonable doubt on how that fire was set in the home after Vashti Seacat’s death.
Prosecutors say Brett Seacat started two fires in the home to cover up evidence after shooting his wife Vashti as she slept.
Defense attorneys say Vashti started the fire herself prior to committing suicide.
An ATF agent’s testimony said that at least two fires were set in the home, and it counters what Seacat had told police.
Defense attorneys theorize that perhaps Vashti used a delayed fuse to start the second fire.
When asked by lawyers whether he found any evidence of a delayed timing device, ATF agent Doug Monty responded, “No sir, we did not.”
Then, he was asked if he had an opinion on whether a delayed timing device was used.
He responded, “I don’t believe it was used.”
Kingman’s Police Chief Marc Holloway also took the stand.
Holloway told jurors that Brett told him that Vashti committed suicide and that he went into her burning bedroom and picked up her limp body.
An attorney asked Holloway, “Did you see any burns to the rest of his body?”
Holloway answered, “No.”
The attorney then asked, “Did you see any blood on him?”
Holloway said, “No.”
The attorney asked, “Did you see any soot on him?”
Again, Holloway said, “No.”
The police chief also testified that Brett showed no signs of grief or emotion.
Holloway testified that Brett convinced his wife to let him stay in their home for several months, despite their marital problems, by threatening to take their children to Mexico. Seacat told Holloway his wife “wasn’t a fighter.”
Testimony in the case resumes Tuesday.
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