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Police chief: Seacat, in interview, said he ‘bullied’ wife

  • The Hutchinson News
  • Published Saturday, May 25, 2013, at 7:22 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at 7:42 a.m.

— The city’s police chief testified Friday that former Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputy Brett Seacat admitted he’d “bullied” his wife the night before she was found shot to death in their Kingman home after a fire.

Chief Marc Holloway, called to testify in the fifth day of Seacat’s first-degree murder trial, told Kingman County jurors he responded at about 4 a.m. April 30, 2011, to the Seacats’ home, which was “fully engulfed” in fire.

Seacat had already called 911 and reported his wife killed herself and set the home on fire.

Prosecutors, however, allege that less than three days after being served with divorce papers, Seacat shot his wife, 34-year-old Vashti Seacat, while she was sleeping and then set fire to the second story of their home to cover up the crime.

Seacat, who was a Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center instructor at the time of his wife’s death, also is charged with aggravated arson and two counts of aggravated endangering a child. He escaped the blaze with the couple’s two young sons, then ages 2 and 4.

Holloway was the first person to conduct a sit-down interview with Seacat at the Kingman Law Enforcement Center about an hour after the April 30, 2011, fire. Holloway testified Seacat was “calm” and “very collected.”

“Did he ever show any emotion?” asked Amy Hanley, assistant Kansas attorney general.

“No,” Holloway said.

“Did he ever cry?” Hanley asked.

“No,” Holloway said.

Seacat acknowledged in the interview he was served with divorce papers on April 27, 2011, and said he talked to Vashti about the divorce the night before her death, according to Holloway.

Seacat said “he convinced her to let him stay at the residence for another three months” and “basically bullied her into allowing him to stay by threatening to take the boys to Mexico and she’d never see them again,” Holloway testified.

“He said he knew she’d agree to it, because she wasn’t a fighter,” Holloway said, adding that “bullied” was the word Seacat used.

In the interview, Holloway testified, Seacat said his wife suffered from depression, and one night while they were watching “Castle,” someone on the TV show committed suicide. Seacat said Vashti asked him “if a 44.-magnum was a good gun to commit suicide with, and he told her it would be,” Holloway testified.

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