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Did Kansas cop kill wife, burn down their home?

By CNN Staff
updated 6:37 AM EDT, Tue June 4, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Brett Seacat is on trial for allegedly killing his wife, Vashti
  • Defense attorneys say she started the fire and shot herself
  • Prosecutors say he was upset about the couple's divorce

(CNN) -- A former policeman is on trial in Kansas, accused of killing his wife and setting their home on fire more than two years ago.

Attorneys for Brett Seacat say his wife, Vashti, started the fire and shot herself.

But prosecutors say he was upset about the dissolution of their marriage, giving him more than enough motive.

On Monday, jurors heard from the Seacats' marriage counselor, CNN affiliate KWCH reported.

Connie Suderman testified that Seacat called her just hours after his wife's death in April 2011.

"He said, 'I killed her, Vashti is dead and it's my fault.' That's what he said," Suderman said, according to KWCH.

The counselor also testified that she met with Vashti Seacat shortly before her death.

She purportedly told Suderman she was worried about how her husband was handling their divorce but was happier than she'd been in years.

CNN affiliate KSN reported the counselor also testified about a conversation she and Vashti Seacat had about suicide.

"She couldn't do that to her boys. She elaborated by saying that she loved being a mom. She couldn't leave them. They needed her," Suderman said.

Those sentiments were echoed Monday by Vashti Seacat's friend, Erika Head, who spoke to HLN's Nancy Grace.

"She was very happy with her life, and she knew that things were looking up," Head said about Seacat, saying she was "never, ever" suicidal.

Brett Seacat and the couple's two sons were at home the night of the fire.

Prosecutors and the defense differ about exactly what happened.

Brett Seacat says he was sleeping downstairs and heard a noise, KWCH reported.

Moments later, his wife called him on his cell phone, saying he should get their boys before they got hurt.

He then purportedly heard two pops. Brett Seacat went upstairs and saw flames.

He reportedly says he found his wife in their bedroom and tried to save her.

But prosecutors say Brett Seacat's story doesn't makes sense.

For one, he had no soot or blood on him, they say, according to KWCH, and only a small burn on his foot.

He and the couple's sons escaped from the blaze unharmed.

The Seacats' home in Kingman, Kansas, sits not far from the courthouse where Brett Seacat is standing trial.

Despite extensive fire damage, the house still stands; a brick chimney pokes out of the charred remains.

"I'm smart enough that if I wanted to kill my wife ... I could've come up with something better than this," Brett Seacat told investigators about the shooting and the fire.

"This is what a crazy person does."

HLN's Amanda Sloane contributed to this report.

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