The legal wrangling over slain Covington doctor Wayne Breen’s estate grew even more complicated Wednesday when attorneys for four of his five children by his first wife filed a motion to invalidate a will that named his second wife — who shot him dead, allegedly during a domestic dispute — as his sole executrix.
A Sheriff’s Office investigation into Breen’s death remains ongoing. Kacie Breen, who admits shooting him, has not been arrested.
But within a week of the popular physician’s March 1 death, legal salvos were being fired. Kacie Breen filed first, seeking to probate a copy of Wayne Breen’s will. But since an original copy could not be found by a court-appointed notary, District Judge Scott Gardner appointed Kacie Breen and Wayne Breen’s son-in-law Jeff Dunbar as co-administrators of the estate on May 6.
Several weeks later, however, Kacie Breen’s attorney — the third to represent her in the succession fight — filed a motion claiming the original will had been found in a box in Wayne Breen’s office. The motion asked Gardner to appoint Kacie Breen sole executrix over the estate, in accordance with the newly found will, which was identical to the copy she had filed months before. A hearing on that motion has been set for June 18.
But lawyers who represent Wayne Breen’s four sons by his first wife say that will is invalid. In support of this claim, they filed an affidavit from one of the witnesses listed on the will, Lakeitha Cole. Cole says in the affidavit that she was asked to sign the will by Wayne Breen but that she never witnessed him signing it.
Wednesday’s filing claimed that if Cole did not see Breen sign the will, the document is not valid. Further, it asked for the matter to proceed intestate, or as if there is no will.
Kacie Breen’s attorney, Richard Ducote, said late Wednesday that he had not seen the latest pleading but anticipated challenging it. He said he had been assured by the notary who stamped the will that everything was handled properly.
Since Wayne Breen’s death, his prospective heirs — five children with his first wife, Diana; his second wife; and the couple’s young child — have been embroiled in two courtroom imbroglios.
The second is a wrongful-death suit filed by Sean Breen, one of the four sons from the first marriage. In that suit, Sean Breen accuses Kacie Breen of intentionally or negligently killing his father.
In a hotly worded response filed May 26, Ducote said Wayne Breen was in a fearsome rage the night he died, afraid that lies he had told about serving in Vietnam would become public and ruin his reputation. Fearing for her life, Kacie Breen acted solely in self-defense when she fired the two shots that killed her husband, Ducote said.
Ducote also filed a motion to have the opposing attorneys — several of whom prepared the filings challenging the will — sanctioned for failing to properly investigate the claims in the filing.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.