The high profile murder trial begins Monday for Becky Bryan, who is accused of shooting and killing her husband, late Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan in their Mustang home.
Seventy potential jurors were called to the Canadian County Courthouse on Monday morning, 2 were excused early on because they knew Becky Bryan or her family. At least two other potential jurors were released on Monday for medical or work reasons.
The rest went through an eight hour questioning process as the state and defense worked to seat an impartial jury.
On the first day of her murder trial, Becky Bryan looked different than she did nearly two years ago when police arrested her for murder. The previously blonde wife and mother of two is now brunette and wore a sports coat and glasses as she entered Judge Gary E. Miller’s courtroom.
Most of the potential jurors acknowledge they recognized Bryan from media reports dating back to September 2011 - when police found the late Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan shot to death in the couple’s home. Becky Bryan called 911 after she claimed to have witnessed the shooting. In the recording, she can be heard telling Mustang Police, “this man with a hoodie cap on walked into our house through our garage and walked into living room and he shot my husband in the head. My husband is laying here bleeding on my couch right now.”
Following the call for help, investigators found evidence that they say called Becky’s story into question. Court records show investigators recovered a handgun in the clothes dryer of the home - a gun they say also matched bullets and a gun box found in the couple’s bedroom.
Several of those details were highly publicized in the 20 month gap between Becky’s arrest and trial. The high profile nature of the case is apparently the reason Bryan’s defense previously requested to move the trial out of Canadian County. The judge denied that request
So both prosecutors and the defense spent all Monday carefully questioning potential jurors about what/ if any conflicts they have with the case. Approximately two thirds of the jury pool acknowledged they have not heard of Becky Bryan’s murder case until now. While the remainder said they heard of the murder but did not follow the case.
The jury pool consists of school teachers, housewives, sales specialist, maintenance manager, insurance adjuster, among other professions. Several of the potential jurors revealed they are married with children, while a few said they were divorced.
The state asked if each potential juror would be able to decide on a punishment or life in prison or life in prison without parole if they find Becky Bryan guilty of the crime. The defense appeared to focus more on their backgrounds and their previous encounters with law enforcement, prisons, and media coverage of the case against Becky Bryan.
Prosecutors and the defense took equal time to read through their list of potential witnesses in the case to include several of Bryan’s friends and family.
To date, the 30 being put through questioning have all acknowledged they can be impartial during the murder trial.
Day one ended with the defense questioning the potential jurors. Jury selection will continue on Tuesday, May 7th at 9 a.m. Opening statements could be as early as Tuesday afternoon.
Judge Miller said he expects the trial to last a week.