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CRIME STOPPERS 316.267.2111
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On Monday, two years and 20 days after Vashti Forrest Seacat’s body was found in the charred remains of her Kingman home, attorneys will start picking jurors who will be asked to decide between two arguments already raised in court:
That the 34-year-old woman’s husband, Brett Seacat, a law enforcement trainer and former Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputy, shot and killed her and set fire to their home, or that she started the blaze and then shot herself.
Felicia Ryder, who organized a candlelight vigil to remember Vashti Seacat soon after the tragedy, said that Brett Seacat’s first-degree murder trial will offer closure for the town. The case has been weighing on people, and the big old house where it all happened – now vacant and boarded up – is part of that weight, Ryder said.
A Sedgwick County jury began deliberations Friday in a first-degree murder trial that started just six weeks after a key witness committed suicide.
But the testimony that the deceased witness gave at an earlier hearing proved to be some of the strongest evidence that prosecutors had in their case against Travis Knighten.
Knighten, 20, is charged in the May 7, 2011, shooting death of Mario Brown, 22, at an after-hours party in a parking lot at the southwest corner of 13th and Hillside.
Police are looking into why a 48-year-old homeless man left a note for two girls at a school bus stop in north Wichita on Wednesday morning.
The man, who was staying in a tent city in Grove Park just off Hillside near 29th Street North, was arrested on an unrelated warrant, Lt. Doug Nolte said.
“He had written a note to them,” Nolte said of the man’s interest in the 11- and 12-year-old girls, who attend Hamilton Middle School. “It was waiting at the bus stop.”
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Crime Stoppers of Wichita/Sedgwick County, KS, Inc • P.O. Box 2601 Wichita, KS 67201 • (316)268-4669