Vashti and Brett Seacat were high school sweethearts who got married in 2004. They started a family in the small town of Kingman, Kansas (population 3,000). On the night of April 30, 2011, 911 received a call from Brett Seacat who frantically reported that his house was on fire and that his wife was still in the house. He told 911 that Vashti had committed suicide by shooting herself in the head after setting the house on fire while their two sons (aged 4 and 2) slept down the hall. Brett Seacat was able to get the two boys out of the house. During the investigation, a gun that caused the fatal wounds to Vashti’s lower skull was found under her hip. Her body was found on the bed. Next to her was a barrel of gas.
Former Sheriff’s Deputy Brett Seacat, who taught “accident investigation” to members of law enforcement, claimed that Vashti was taking hormone pills to lose weight which made her depressed and suicidal. In 2013, Brett was found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, aggravated arson and two counts of aggravated child endangerment. He was sent to prison for life and is now appealing. Two of the arguments that his lawyers are making are, one, that “the court wrongly prohibited Brett Seacat from presenting evidence that his wife committed suicide” and, two, that “a psychologist and a coroner were wrongly barred from testifying that depression is a side effect of a hormone taken by Vashti Seacat for weight loss.” Dateline NBC will airs its investigative report on March 12 at 8pm.