KINGMAN, Kansas -- After working on the case for more than two years, a two hour Dateline NBC special on Vashti Forrest's murder and former deputy Brett Seacat's conviction aired nationally on the network Friday night.
A NBC Universal producer first contacted KSN shortly after Seacat's arrest and crews flew into Kansas for his preliminary hearing in November of 2011 and returned for his trial and sentencing.
Dateline reporter Keith Morrison conducted hours worth of interviews in Wichita back in July. The special will feature the most extensive interview to date with Bobby Seacat, Brett's half brother, who has been reluctant to talk to Kansas media.
Like Brett, Bobby maintains Vashti killed herself and Brett is innocent.
"I left that courtroom 100 percent convinced that he didn't do it," Bobby Seacat told Dateline in footage made available to KSN before their special airs.
Back in May, a jury rejected Brett's claims that a depressed Vashti set her Kingman home on fire with her two young boys sleeping down the hall, called Brett on her cell phone to tell him to take care of the boys, and then shot herself in the head.
In the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Brett meticulously planned his wife's death to make it look like a suicide after she filed for divorce. Several co-workers testified Vashti was not depressed and looking forward to a life without Brett. They also claimed she was a doting mother who would never put her boys at risk.
Evidence was presented showing Brett Seacat acting suspiciously the day before Vashti's murder at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Academy where he worked as a police instructor. Brett burned cell phones and computer hard drives there in an effort to cover his tracks.
"When you are in law enforcement and you know about identity theft, those are things you do," explained Bobby Seacat to Dateline. "You break cell phones and you burn hard drives. Not only was he well-versed in identity theft, he was a substitute instructor of it. I think in hindsight, if he had known what was about to happened that very night, he wouldn't have thrown the cell phones away. He wouldn't have burned hard drives. He would not have done anything and he especially wouldn't have spent the night in that house."
Bobby Seacat believes media coverage turned Kingman against Brett Seacat and jurors didn't want to face their neighbors if they came back with a not guilty verdict.
"I think the State in every respect failed to prove and make their case," said Bobby Seacat. "But I also knew there was two years of public opinion, two years of media coverage. Two years of people forming opinions based on far less than all the facts and there were twelve people going to make this call in a small community that had to live with it."
Vashti Forrest's family tells Dateline they remain satisfied with the verdict.
"I was almost embarrassed that he was still claiming he was innocent when there were just so many things that would've had to have lined up perfectly, that would have had to have been a fluke," said Kathleen Forrest, Vashti's sister.
Family and coworkers of Vashti testified she was fearful of Brett's reaction to the divorce. The morning of her murder, several members of Vashti's family told police they believed Brett was to blame before investigators had even had a chance to enter the home.
"I said 'I don't care what you're being told. I don't care what you think you're seeing, you are dealing with a murder,'" recalled Rich Forrest.
Brett Seacat is appealing his verdict claiming evidence that would have vindicated him was not allowed to be presented at trial.