Not-guilty pleas entered in Pratt case involving killing of pregnant woman

01/28/2014 6:11 AM

08/08/2014 10:21 AM

A judge accepted not-guilty pleas Monday for a Pratt man charged with two counts of murder over the deaths of a pregnant woman and her fetus in a July shooting that also left a man paralyzed.

Judge Francis Meisenheimer set a Sept. 29 trial date.

Bryant Seba, 21, will go to trial on two counts of premeditated first-degree murder – one count for 22-year-old Alexandria Duran and one for her fetus – and one count of attempted premeditated first-degree murder for the five wounds that Brandon Wright suffered. Wright, now 28, has been left paralyzed below his waist.

According to testimony at Seba’s October preliminary hearing, the shooting occurred late one night this past July after a series of racially charged confrontations that ended up between Duran’s house and Seba’s house. Seba’s family lived next door to Duran’s family. Duran and her uncle had intervened in a fight that involved Seba, who is white, and Wright, who is black, a witness testified.

Authorities alleged that Seba went into his house, brought out a .22-caliber rifle and fired nine shots into a group of people. One of the bullets hit Duran in the head.

Seba remains in jail on a $2 million bond.

Duran’s sister, Angie Rios, said after Monday’s brief arraignment hearing, “We just want justice, that’s all.” About a dozen of Duran’s relatives and friends attended the hearing.

Seba’s attorney, Mandi Stephenson, said she had no comment.

Seba listened as the judge read the charges to him. When Meisenheimer asked Seba if he had any questions about what occurred at the hearing, he replied, “No, your honor.”

The defendant wore an orange jail jumpsuit and was kept in restraints, including chains around his waist, wrists and ankles.

The case marks the first time the Kansas Attorney General’s Office has pursued a murder charge under Alexa’s Law, named after the unborn child of Chelsea Brooks, a 14-year-old Wichita girl who was nine months’ pregnant when she disappeared in 2006. Days after her disappearance, investigators found her body in a Butler County field, and three men were convicted in her killing. The law lets prosecutors bring double charges against a person accused of attacking a pregnant woman and harming the fetus.

A deputy coroner testified in October that Duran’s pregnancy was proceeding normally and that the fetus appeared to be between 13 and 15 weeks. Duran’s mother told The Eagle that the due date was Feb. 1.

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