Prosecutors: Texts Show Animosity Between Victim, Accused Killer | WGLT

Prosecutors: Texts Show Animosity Between Victim, Accused Killer

Dec 11, 2019

Text messages exchanged between Kyle Brestan and a woman he’s accused of stabbing 105 times show a rocky relationship, according to evidence presented Wednesday in Brestan’s murder trial.

The 35-year-old Bloomington man is charged in the May 2017 death of Shannon Hastings, 27, of Washington.

Shannon Hastings was killed in May 2017.
Credit Bloomington Police Department / Bloomington Police Department

Jurors viewed texts exchanged between the victim and Brestan within 11 days of May 16, 2017, the date police believe she was killed. Hastings' body was found May 21, 2017, in a motel room on the city’s west side.

In a series of texts on May 5, 2017, the two argued over money, a point of recurring disagreement, according to First Assistant State’s Attorney Brad Rigdon.

“Go ahead and lose my number. I don’t get lied to and stolen from by anyone,” Brestan wrote in a message.

He further threatened Hastings: "Lose my number before your favorite officer learns your room number,” according to a text.

On May 15, 2017, Hastings indicated she needed money.

In his response to a defense objection to the texts, Rigdon argued that the disputes over money “shows disagreement and animosity” that could point to a possible motive for violence.

Defense lawyer Stephanie Wong called the texts irrelevant and asked that the jury also see texts showing Brestan and Hastings were able to set aside their differences expressed in the early May texts.

Wong later displayed two photos in the courtroom of the couple smiling in a Facebook post.

Retired Bloomington police detective Matt Dick told jurors Hastings referred to Brestan as “my bestie Kyle” on her list of cell phone contacts. Police collected hundreds of pages of texts from multiple phones found in the motel room, said Dick.

If convicted, Brestan faces a potential life sentence. He must serve 36 years on an unrelated child pornography charge to which he pleaded guilty in February.

The trial continues Wednesday afternoon with testimony expected from Brian Vincent, the man who rented the motel room where Hastings was found.

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