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Reporter Notes From Becky Bryan Trial, Day 5

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CANADIAN COUNTY, Oklahoma -

News 9's Lisa Monahan was inside the courtroom Friday as the murder trial for Becky Bryan entered its fifth day. These are her notes and not a word-for-word representation of what was said.

Day 5- Friday, May 10, 2013 MARK HOLBROOK testimony continued

STATE DIRECT : 

Want to ask about phone call? Had she expressed to you she was in any kind of danger?

no. Police and OSBI had got the guy and he had killed himself and they had recovered the weapon that he used in the murder - there was a shell casing

She mentioned that he had killed himself in Midwest City- and she had learned this from OSBI. She said she was safe with her brother.

Was there a question about your son Brian?

she apologized about going to see my son, Brian.

Did she also mention physical evidence?

yes, she had been cleared of charges because there was a blood splatter on the left side which would prove that she couldn't have done it. 

because she was right handed.

Trip to Ardmore?

when i was a kid my grandparents lived on a farm in Ardmore.I told her it was big part of my childhood. She remembered that- and said when she was coming home from a trip she found that silo and went and set by it. it was the saturday before keith's murder and she had gone to a wedding for her friend gayle.

Inheritance?

I asked about that she said her aunt who was a doctor , who passed away and didn't have children and was leaving her 7 million from her estate. She learned of that in Tulsa on Tuesday

How did she learn of that? an attorney - cant remember

Times during the conversation that she said she still thought about you?

yes, she said she thought about me every night when she went to bed and every morning when we woke up.

I said that crazy talk. How can we talk about ourselves

STATE EXHIBIT 20 - A handwritten letter, 12 pages

Page 11 - who's signature is that? 

Becky's 

Did you come to know she often carried a gun? 

yes

What kind of gun? Yes, a Ruger. I believe 

What color was the gun? 

Black

CROSS EXAMINATION - MARK HOLBROOK, Ex-lover

You met mrs. bryan sometime in the summer of 2009? yes

How long was your first interaction with her? all day we were in class

What interested you in her? She had interest in product I sold.

Did they talk about living by you in that area? yes

At that breakfast meeting was your wife present? yes

How did you feel having breakfast with Becky and her husband how did you feel about that? it was real awkward

How quick did you express love for her after that prep course? a month and half

Had you fallen in love with her? it was starting to feel like that

what attracted you to her? i thought we had the same interest 

a very nice person to talk very inviting very complimentary just and easy person to be around

You are a pretty religious man correct? I'm a christian

You felt God had brought Becky Bryan to you? I didn't know i was wondering about it 

What do you mean? I wasn't happy with my wife and this woman comes into my life and I thought we had the same beliefs.We talked about prayer. church

What did you talk about church?

She talked about going to church, singing in choir.

As I look back I should have gone to my pastor and asked for guidance. I made a mistake.

Your marital problems ? we had grown apart we weren't where we needed to be

How long were you married? I married my wife november of 1983

You had grown apart but did you still love your wife? I didn't think I did

You and Mrs. Bryan were having the same feelings about your marriage? correct

She didn't speak ill of Keith? no  

The reservations Becky had about a relationship with you was worrying about hurting Keith? correct

The conversations and tones started to change and thats when things started falling apart.

Did you have plans to file for divorce? I had plans to but I did not

She considered her husband's feelings in all of this? yes

I think she even considered your wife's feelings ? yes

Have you ever seen those documents before? yes 

Are those emails you sent becky? yes

Is that a letter you wrote it? yes its my writing

is this a document i was visiting with you about the Mrs. Bryan sent for you and Micah.

had you ever been to the bryan home? yes 

When was that? I don't remember the exact date

I had come up for a meeting , we went by her real estate office first and then we went b the house for approximately 30 mins

When in the relationship? sometime in october

You had a discussion with Keith about the relationship in January 2010.

I called him a week or two later and told him that becky had not held up to her end of the bargain.

I said I just want you to know I am upholding my end of the bargain and Becky is not holding up her.

We were not to communicate at all.

If there was anything i was going to say i was going to say it to him.

Why would you need contact if you are severing all ties? good point i don't know that i would

Even in that recorded phone call she asked about your dad? yes

Had Becky been around your parents? she went and saw my dad in the hospital and then she went to see them to convince them

You met her dad? yes at a restaurant in mcalester

This call you recorded you contacted the OSBI? yes

you volunteered yo get her on the phone ? yes

where did he meet you ? at my house

his idea or your idea? his

he just brings a handheld?  a handheld recorder

you said you were worried about the phone calls? yes

in fact she said that they downloaded her phone and they had your number she was trying to keep you out of the media.

she said there is no way they can get to you.

She said they had got her phone and got some information.

So she wasn't trying to hide you from the OSBI,  she was trying to keep you out of the media? yes

I think you would agree at that time the media was all over this case? yes

and you probably didn't want to be apart of the media at that time? yes

You last saw her in February 2011? yes in hugo when she stopped by my business

When was next time you see her - in OKC at a seminar

there were probably 20 people there.

That was march 2011-  yes 

you thought Becky might be there? yes i told my wife and she was ok with it

Becky came up and said hello? no she didn't she said hello to me. 

She didn't come up to you or bug you ? she made no attempt to contact you? thats correct

This voice message she sent on sept 20th? yes

You deleted it? yes after listening to it 

Did the OSBI ever ask you can we have your phone and do forensic examination ? no 

Did they ever pull information from your phone ? no

STATE 10th WITNESS - ERIC PFEIFER- Chief Medical Examiner & Forensic Pathologist

You still conduct autopsies? yes sir

yes sir i did his autopsy myself

prior to that did you see him at hospital? yes sir

The family wanted to donate his organs and that makes me very careful about organ donation.

what stood out ? there was obviously a head wound and medical appliances on him for prevention. He also had bruises on biceps - (deep pain simulation)

At the point you realized you did not see any other injuries? with the injuries i could see at the naked eye. I permitted the organ donation.

did you do that because you did not think it would change the autopsy? yes that and to accommodate the family.

What day did you conduct the autopsy ? sept 22nd

Age reported at 52, he was 5'8

When a body comes in to ME office is it assigned a number? yes

Is the purpose to identify in other photographs? yes sir

Near one of the wounds (right side)surrounding that was a bruise

The left side also showed a defect

Did one appear to be an entrance and exit? yes 

STATE EXHIBIT 17 - photo of head of Keith Bryan 

Could you determine how far away the gun shot?  several inches 

Close contact - I don't think this was a distant gunshot. Probably within several inches

There was the absence of soot in this area and there was small fragments of black /brown material

bullet wipe

and i also saw very rare fiber like substance in the entrance wound.

Rare fiber like - you cant see with naked eye. In the tissue, and skin, under the skin you can see very rare fiber like material 

Do the fibers appear to be consistent with cloth or consistent with a blanket? yes

Does it appear it could have been a very close shot with a blanket over the muzzle? yes

Left wound- 

DNA Blood Card

OSBI requested Blood Card - 

you supervised the sealing of the blood on that blood card? yes sir

you went to hospital

Did you observe organs had been donates? liver , gallbladder, spleen, and a few other organs 

Did you find anything else wrong with bryan? not lethal

No drugs or alcohol ? correct

Manner of death ? homicide

Cause of death? perforating gun shot wound to the head

CROSS EXAMINATION - Eric Pfiefer , Chief Medical Examiner

On organ donations-? 

I deny as many as I permit 

You don't always allow donations because of evidentiary issues? correct,

I felt it was safe no evidence would be lost

Do you think any was lost by that donation? I don't know sir

Autopsy started the following day at 9:45 am

what is blowback? backward movement of tissue

Blowback goes in the opposite direction? 

Can you look at hair and make a determination of blowback? my problem is interpreting material that could be from multiple sources.

would you shave hair and save for evidentiary value? we don't save all. we do pluck some for evidentiary value.

Bryan's hair already shaved when he got to ME its safe to say some evidentiary value could be lost? 

mr fields asked you about the scenario a blanket over the gun? yes. in instances where I have seen there have been very large weapons when powder is in wound trap

Do you think injury would have caused blood & brain material to come from skull? yes it did.

Description on 911 tape that Bryan was convulsing would that be accurate with this type of injury? yes

This would have been a devastating injury to see? I don't know how to answer that. Common sense - yes.

But its a devastating injury? yes

you talked about finding some fibers? rare,  is the word i believe you used ? yes sir

fibers could be deposited to one's head if you are laying on a blanket? yes 

REDIRECT -

the fibers were on the wound and the wound track? correct

BREAK FOR LUNCH

DEFENSE 1st WITNESS- out of turn 

Cathy Thomas, psychologist, PHD - specializes in trauma - critical events 

(16-18 years working in trauma- help witnesses in critical events)

worked with the FBI following the bombing 

no one is immune to trauma reactions

it can result in substance abuse, 

What do you teach about death notifications? We provide information in the best way possible.

The reactions could be anything from thank you have a cup of coffee to the extreme.

We tell them "you don't really know what you are going to see from the people"

what reactions have you experienced - very stoic, I've actually had people say thank you and then we have some very emotional 

have you ever witnessed laugh? occasionally humor is a joking mechanism for some people.

Our reactions are based on life experiences.

When a police officer has to shoot and kill somebody, do you deal with that in your practice? fairly regularly. 

How many have you been involved in lately? 10

What is the procedure you follow when meeting with an officer following a traumatic event.

I ask them what was the worst part of the situation? 

after okc bombing when you first got involved, how were people affected? not just survivors but people who lost loved ones? how did you help them?

we did 72 hour workshops for first responders, victims & their loved ones

how soon do you usually see the general public in regard to a trauma, how quick do you try to see police officers? within a few days if not the day of

when we can start talking to someone it helps the brain start processing it 

is there a national standard of protocol they use in interview police following a shooting?

the international chiefs of police have guidelines they suggest - debriefing is done and investigators wait 48-72 hours before getting an official statement so their brain can start processing

whats going on with the brain when a traumatic event occurs? certain stimulants get going

what can happen right after?

memory distortion can happen , time distortion, 

Giving time to allow the brain to work it out then they give more accurate answers usually. people can get tunnel vision where they zero in on one thing.

when you say visual distortion . have you interviewed police officers that had repeated versions that contradict what they have said before? yes

when the brain has a chance to process things it can be more accurate.

Two people involved in bank can have different perceptions of what happened.

It's not uncommon for an officer to make a statement to whoever is debriefing them at the scene and then that statement change over time? yes

After 72 hours and their brain has had time to process? correct

if someone witnessed their husband shot in the head, is that a significant trauma to witness? yes 

how significant of a trauma would that effect the brain? yes

what are the factors that go in interpret that information? other traumas, genetics, training, educational background

what is your opinion on eye witness identifications? there is a lot of research about the validity of the eye witness account because of perceptions

how reliable are their reactions to what people who show up at at the scene?

the state has put on that becky bryan has said the shooter came through back door or garage and that she was in the living room or bedroom - does that shock you? no, peoples memories get distorted during traumatic events. If they remember bits and pieces of things then the brian tries to fill in the blanks.

she is laughing will that be abnormal? humor is common coping mechanism 

Sometimes the options are to laugh cry or throw up and humor is the more appealing.

Especially if it is so overwhelming then they can do that to distract them.

Would you expect firemen to deal with traumatic events that way? yes

Becky was married to a fireman for 33 years and what do you think? a lot of times they have the same coping mechanisms especially if they have been around someone that long.  

She was talking about penis and saying the most shocking things after this incident -whats your thought on that? Based on info i reviewed it appears that was something she talked about it at times -kind of shock value comments - if that is something she had done in past... then in this situation she could fall back into that .

Is it coping? yes it could be.

Could it cause her to give inaccurate statements? absolutely

Can reverting to past things in her life-is that a typical coping thing ?

A lot of times people will focus on other things to distract them from things going on around them.  focus on something easier as a distraction

CROSS EXAMINATION : CATHY THOMAS

You testified vast majority of your work is with law enforcement? yes Would you agree that police officers that you typically dealt with normally they have done so to protect or preserve someones life?

in this case where we are talking about intentional killing - whether it be becky bryan or not. in homicide

your testimony is limited to how police officers act in traumatic events? limited in  shootings.

ok so this is a shooting, but you are limited to police officers? yes

why would they debrief? what you are saying you pretty much cant believe anything they say following a traumatic event? it is a psychological debriefing 

have you heard about alternative theory to waiting 72 hours- and that is you mind the brain while its fresh? not familiar

for investigative purposes i cant speak to that 

if there is such a danger in talking to witnesses about traumatic events why would there not be a protocol for waiting 72 hours for everyone? i cant answer that 

when dealing with police officers there are two competing issues  - its whether they violated agency rule on use of force and whether they violated the law ? yes

when you talk about demeanor of witnesses - are you considering police as a witness as well (in an officer involve shooting)

so again your experience is pretty limited with dealing with just police officers? i have worked with some witnesses

what you are trying to say to jury is you really cant predict how someone might respond to a traumatic event?yes 

a shooter is a witness but their perception may be different than a witness who  was simply there during spontaneous event? yes

if perceptions are different they may react different, demeanor may be different? yes 

the person who planned would be more calm than someone who just witnessed? that would make sense.

so a shooter who planned- may be more calm and may not grieve.

i cant speculate

well you have speculated already.

on the phone when i ask you had anyone ever responded with laughter in death notifications you told me you have not seen laughter? correct

i thought a minute ago you told the jury you have seen someone laugh and use humor?

i have not seen someone laughing. 

you agree that would be unusual? its unusual

one of statements the defendant made - "the only thing i feel bad about is having sex with someone today" how do you reconcile that statement with the demeanor of other people saying she was laughing or being calm?

it seems she was not as concerned about her husband.

than what? maybe the person she had sex with or the people she and around her - but that is based on two statements i cant know for sure 

another explanation is she got the result she desired? thats a possible explanation

you listened to the interview with the defendant? i read the transcript

what ever he gave you - you relied upon. you didn't seek out any information on your own? i listened to the 911 call. you were given that by gary james? yes 

So you didn't do anything to seek out information on your own? correct

DEFENSE - CATHY THOMAS

you have also worked with officers that witnessed an officer involved shooting? correct

RECESS UNTIL MONDAY MORNING

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