Testimony starts in trial of ex-Kansas officer

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KINGMAN, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors say a former Kansas police instructor killed his wife because she was divorcing him, then burned down the couple’s home in Kingman to hide evidence.

But attorneys for Brett Seacat contend his wife, 34-year-old Vashti Seacat, was depressed and shot herself and set the fire in April 2011. Her husband and two young children escaped the fire.

The attorneys outlined their differing scenarios during opening statements Wednesday in Seacat’s trial for first-degree murder.

The Hutchinson News reports (http://bit.ly/1215GOE ) the statements were presented after a jury of five women and 10 men, including three alternates, was selected.

A coroner couldn’t determine whether Vashti Seacat’s death was a homicide or suicide.

Brett Seact is a former instructor at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in Reno County.

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Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com

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