Jury hears Seacat deny killing his wife

Jurors listen to part of a 7-hour KBI interview with Brett Seacat.
Jurors listen to part of a 7-hour KBI interview with Brett Seacat.

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KINGMAN, Kansas — Jurors in a high-profile Kansas murder case heard the second half of a recorded interview with the defendant.

Former Sedgwick County deputy Brett Seacat is charged with murder and arson in the death of his wife Vashti. She was found shot to death in the couple’s burning home in Kingman in April of 2011.

A couple of weeks after her death and the day before Brett Seacat’s arrest, detectives with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation interviewed him for seven hours.

Jurors heard the first part of the interview Friday. On Monday, jurors heard the rest of it, including the part where detectives tried to get Seacat to admit to the murder:

Detective: “Did you murder her?”
Brett Seacat: “No.”
Detective: “Did you pull the trigger?”
Brett Seacat: “No.”
Detective: “Did you kill her?”
Brett Seacat: “No!”

Those questions and Seacat’s denial came toward the end of the seven-hour interview:

Detective: “Things are not looking good and they’re adding up to that you had something to do with this, Brett, and we need to know why.”
Brett Seacat: “Oh, no, there’s no why. I didn’t do this. I loved Vashti.”

The detectives found it preposterous that Vashti would set their home on fire with their two children sleeping down the hall, crawl into bed and then shoot herself. They also didn’t believe that Seacat went into the burning room and tried to move her body since he had no burns or blood on his clothes.

While they were trying to get a confession, they told Seacat that Vashti warned friends that Seacat had threatened her life and told her he could make her murder look like a suicide:

Detective: “She told a friend, a week and a half prior to this incident happening, that you threatened to kill her…”
Brett Seacat: “What?!”
Detective: “You threatened to burn the house down and you threatened to make it look like she did it.”
Brett Seacat: “That is, that is bull___!”

Earlier in the interview, Seacat tells detectives he did not want a divorce from Vashti and promised her she’d never see her kids again if he got his way.

He said she went to bed and he slept on the couch until he was awoken by a phone call in the middle of the night from Vashti telling him to get the kids out of the house.

Seacat said he heard a loud noise, ran upstairs, saw fire coming from the room, rushed in and tried to move Vashti. Seacat said was already dead.

“And her head never had any movement to it. When I picked her up, it just wobbled back like that and stayed like that,” Seacat said in the interview.

There’s a pause in the interview at that point while Seacat hits his fists on the table.

“Um, sorry, I’m not crying,” he said. “I’m just, I’m having trouble talking.”

Prosecutors claim Seacat faked that phone call and planted a suicide note before shooting Vashti to death and setting the home on fire.

After listening to the DVD of the interview, the jury heard testimony from a neighbor. The neighbor says she heard a gunshot while watching TV, but it was earlier in the morning than Seacat claims Vashti killed herself.

“I just heard a booming sound that sounded similar to what I’ve heard down at, from the gun range downtown when the police are down shooting,” said Cammie Smith, neighbor.

Smith says she heard the gunshot nearly 40 minutes before Seacat says Vashti killed herself.

Defense attorneys were quick to point out that only two people in the entire residential neighborhood think they heard that gunshot.

Stay with KSN for continuing coverage of the Seacat trial.

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