Kacie Breen told authorities that she feared for her life and acted in self-defense when she fired the two shots that killed her husband in their Folsom-area home in the early morning hours of March 1.
Until last week, Breen had been publicly silent about what happened. But in recent court filings, her attorney, Richard Ducote, has provided new details about what Kacie Breen says lit popular Covington obstetrician Wayne Breen’s rage that night, sparking a violent confrontation that ended with him dead from two gunshot wounds she admitted firing.
Kacie Breen has never been arrested in the case, though an investigation by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office is ongoing.
But a parallel struggle over Wayne Breen’s death and estate is being waged in the courts, where over the past seven days Ducote — Kacie Breen’s third attorney since her husband died — has fired back against claims in a wrongful-death suit filed by a son from Wayne Breen’s first marriage.
On May 26, Ducote filed an answer to the suit brought by Sean Breen on May 1. In that suit, Sean Breen alleged that his father’s death was caused solely by Kacie Breen’s “intentional acts” or negligence.
Ducote strongly disputed the suit’s claims and added some color to the previously reported claim of self-defense.
According to Ducote’s response, Kacie Breen was the victim of a “criminal, rageful, vicious and violent attack” that night by Wayne Breen. Further, the document says, she feared for her life after years of abuse at his hands.
Wayne Breen was never arrested for domestic violence against his wife, but Kacie Breen filed for a protective order against him in 2012. That order had expired, Sheriff Jack Strain has said.
Kacie Breen did not seek medical attention in the hours after the shooting.
The spark that set her husband off March 1, according to the filing, was his admission that for years he had lied about having served in the Vietnam war. Breen admitted to his wife that, despite earlier claims, he had never served in combat in Vietnam, an experience he previously claimed had resulted in post-traumatic stress disorder.
Wayne Breen “feared that (Kacie Breen’s) knowledge of his charade would leak out, and that she would end the marriage and fight for their son’s custody and protection,” Ducote says in the filing.
Such an admission could lead to an “unraveling” of Wayne Breen’s personal and professional life, something he could not allow, the filing says.
But Ducote didn’t stop by just rebutting the wrongful-death suit’s claims. In documents filed in court Monday afternoon, he also asked the court to sanction Sean Breen’s attorneys — Rene Frederick, Mark Mansfield, Amanda Sansonne, Frank Tranchina and Amy Cowley — for filing claims he said they failed to properly investigate.
That failure violates Louisiana’s code of criminal procedure, the filing alleges, adding that the suit has cost Kacie Breen money and public humiliation. Ducote asked the court to penalize the attorneys and order them to pay Kacie Breen’s legal fees.
Frederick called Ducote’s motion a “baseless procedural attempt to shift the focus of this case away from the truths set forth in our client’s petition.”
Since Wayne Breen’s death, his heirs — Kacie Breen, who was his second wife, and the five children he had with his first wife — have been fighting in the courts. Besides the wrongful-death suit, they also are battling over the will.
After Judge Scott Gardner appointed Kacie Breen and Jeff Dunbar — Wayne Breen’s son-in-law — to be co-administrator’s of the estate on May 6, Kacie Breen returned to court May 22 to file what she said was an original copy of a will that appointed her sole executrix of the estate.
A hearing on that issue is scheduled for June 18.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III, on Twitter @faimon.