Brett Seacat Verdict: Guilty of Wife's Murder, Arson

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A Kansas jury took under a day to reach a verdict in the Brett Seacat case. He was found guilty of killing his wife Vashti and setting fire to their home.

Brett Seacat Photo

Seacat, 37, of Kingman, Kan., was convicted of first-degree murder, aggravated arson and two counts of aggravated endangering a child in the 2011 act.

The jury concluded he killed Vashti Seacat 16 days after she filed for divorce, and prosecutors will seek a sentence of 50 years in prison on August 5.

Jurors were tasked with determining whether Vashti committed suicide, leaving behind her two children, or if her husband brutally murdered her.

In the end, they concluded he did. Motivated by the threatened loss of their marriage, police say he shot her in the head and set the house on fire.

Taking the stand for over a full day last week, ex-police deputy Brett Seacat portrayed himself as a loving husband and father to two boys, then 2 and 4.

He said he was burdened by his wife's desire to break up, but continued to share their home after Vashti filed for divorce, and urged additional counseling.

"I would never burn our house," he said under questioning from the prosecution last week. "I would never expose my children to any situation like that."

A dozen of his peers apparently disagreed.