In what may be a sign that neither side in the court battle over the death of Covington doctor Wayne Breen intends to blink, four of his grown children by his first wife filed a wrongful-death suit Wednesday against his second wife, Kacie, who shot him to death this year in what she says was self-defense.
Kacie Breen has admitted shooting her husband in the couple’s Folsom-area home, saying she feared for her life from a man who had abused her repeatedly over the years.
The four children also moved to consolidate their wrongful-death claim with one already filed by their brother Sean.
Wednesday’s move, long promised by attorneys who are representing the children in a separate battle over the OB-GYN’s will, comes on the heels of filings from Kacie’s lawyer in which Wayne Breen is portrayed as a man whose life was unraveling as Kacie uncovered a series of lies about an adult child he fathered out of wedlock and about Breen’s supposed Vietnam experience. Although Kacie said Wayne often cited that experience as a reason for his irascible or violent behavior, he in fact never served in Vietnam.
Earlier this week, Kacie Breen’s attorney, Richard Ducote, filed an affidavit in which Kacie testified that Wayne had become incensed that Kacie had requested his military record from the U.S. government. She said that just before she shot him, he had pressed her head into the cement floor of the couple’s garage and then forced her against a car and put his hands around her throat.
Wednesday’s filing from Bridget Dunbar and Patrick, Ryan and Devin Breen is short on specific allegations, unlike the earlier petition by their brother. Sean’s Breen’s petition alleged that Kacie “intentionally” killed her husband and that, because of an earlier car accident, Wayne Breen was too enfeebled to pose a serious threat to his wife.
Wednesday’s filing says only that the four siblings are entitled to a petition for wrongful death. In addition to Kacie Breen, it names Federal Insurance Co. as a defendant.
The motion to consolidate the cases says there is significant overlap in facts and law between the two petitions.
Ducote, who has frequently pointed to the other Breen siblings’ absence from Sean Breen’s wrongful-death suit, called Wednesday’s filing a “legal Hail Mary.”
“They don’t allege any facts, and what they do allege doesn’t entitle them to anything,” he said.
He added that he plans to ask a judge to dismiss the pleading, saying the four children had no grounds to make a claim.
Kacie Breen shot her husband March 1, and she filed to probate his will five days later. Since then, Breen’s death has been tied up in court battles.
Another entity may enter the fray at some point: the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives found no probable cause to arrest Kacie Breen in her husband’s death, but the case is now being reviewed by District Attorney Warren Montgomery, who must decide whether sufficient evidence exists to ask a grand jury to indict her.
The next court date for the case is Wednesday, when a judge will hear arguments over a motion filed by Ducote to disqualify two of the opposing attorneys, who represented Wayne Breen briefly in 2012.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.