KINGMAN, Kan. — Handcuffed and shackled, Brett Seacat made his way from the Kingman County jail to the court house. There he stood in front of judge Larry Solomon and listened to the charges against him. He showed little emotion, bowing his head a few times. Seacat faces four charges, 1st degree murder, aggravated arson and two counts of aggravated endangerment of a child.
Seacat is accused of killing his wife Vashti on April 30th and setting their home on fire with their two sons inside. Since the boys were home during the fire, Seacat is charged with endangering their lives. Brett and the two boys did make it out safely, but Vashti died inside. It has not been released how Vashti died or how the fire started. Two days before the fire, Vashti served Brett with divorce papers.
After reading the charges, Judge Solomon asked if Seacat wanted a public defender. "At this point I should apply for a court appointed attorney and reserve right to seek independent counsel," Seacat answered the judge.
The judge then set Seacat's bond at $1 million. "Am I allowed at this point to address the bond," Seacat asked the judge. The judge responded he wasn't willing to lower it at this time. Once Seacat has an attorney, he says they can file a motion and discuss whether to lower the bond.
During the hearing, Seacat's parents and brother sat in the gallery showing support for him. No one with Vashti's family was in court. Afterwards, his father Lott Seacat told Eyewitness News his son is innocent and they will find a way to prove it. Seacat's next court appearance, a preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 26th. But the judge said it will likely be postponed.
Before his arrest Seacat was on funeral leave from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center where he worked as an instructor. The director says Seacat is now on paid administrative leave pending the resolution of the criminal justice system. The KLETC director Ed Pavey says they will continue to review his status as more information becomes available. Before going to work for the training center, Seacat worked for the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Department.