“Dateline NBC”: Burning Suspicion The story chronicles the horrific death of Vashti Seacat by the hand of her husband, Brett Seacat.
Brett attempted to cover up the horrifying crime by igniting the house of his wife while her body was still in their home.
Although initially he was misled, the police quickly figured out the flaws in his account.
If you’re interested in knowing more about the case and the location where Brett Seacat is today, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Brett Seacat?
Brett Seacat was Vashti Seacat’s husband. They were high school sweethearts who got married in Belize and later settled in Brett’s hometown of Kingman, Kansas.
They had two gorgeous children and seemed to have had a perfect life before their children. Brett worked as a deputy for the sheriff’s department as well as one of the instructors in the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center.
Life, however, was not always perfect for the couple who experienced a rough and turbulent relationship. They were often at war, and the authorities later found that they went on therapy with each other. Within two days of the shooting, Brett was also served divorce documents by Vashti.
Brett contacted 911 on April 30th, 2011, to report that Vashti had put the home on fire and then shot herself. After the police arrived, he claimed that he was asleep on the couch when his wife called him from upstairs and asked him to take their children to safety.
He said that there was a “loud bang,” following which he ran up the stairs. He found his wife died of an injury from a bullet and flames erupting rapidly. Brett told the police that the children were taken outside and threw them into Vashti’s vehicle before trying to save his wife, but was unable to do so due to the smoke and the flames.
Police quickly noticed the inconsistencies regarding his narrative because they couldn’t find any blood, dirt, or other injuries on him, even when he claimed to have battled the fires.
Additionally, the location of the gun in front of Vashti’s body as well as the direction of the bullet disqualified suicide. Police also discovered evidence inside the house, which explained ways to cover up murder as a suicide.
Vashti’s suicide note was discovered in her notebook while she was driving, and specialists in handwriting verified it to be a fabrication.
Witnesses came forward to claim that they witnessed Brett dismantling phones and hard drives just a few hours prior to the time Vashti passed away. A neighbor said there was a gunshot at 3:15 in the morning that night, about 40 minutes prior to when Brett called the police to announce Vashti’s death.
Where is Brett Seacat Now?
With evidence mounting against Brett, The police rounded up Brett and accused him of premeditated first-degree murder, as well as two counts of child endangerment with a high degree of severity, along with one count of arson aggravated. While under police control, Brett claimed that he was innocent and claimed that Vashti suffered from depression, leading her to possibly commit suicide.
Brett’s trial ran for two years. During that time, the defense attempted to portray Vashti Seacat in the light of a depression-stricken lady who committed suicide. Brett himself claimed that his wife had committed suicide due to depression over her marriage and was worried that her husband would seize her children after divorce.
On the other hand, Vashti’s close friends shared a distinct story about the way Vashti was happier and more relaxed after she served Brett’s divorce documents. They also claimed that Vashti was not able to take her own life because she wasn’t depressed and was excited about beginning a new chapter with her children.
The jury eventually came to a decision and was able to find Brett Seacat guilty on all four charges. For the murder charge, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole. In addition, he received a 5-year sentence for the more serious arson offense, while the child endangerment charges cost him seven months each. The judge also directed the sentences to run in succession.
He appealed his conviction in 2015. He challenged his conviction and attempted to have it reversed, but his appeal was denied by the Kansas Supreme Court, which dismissed his appeal and upheld his initial sentence. Brett Seacat is currently incarcerated in a prison located outside of the state of Kansas. He was transferred out of state due to the fact that prisoners who were former law enforcement officers are not kept in the same facility as criminals who may have been sent to prison.