Charges: Dassel man killed his wife with kids in the house over alleged affair
A man accused of killing his wife in Meeker County last week has now been criminally charged.
Prosecutors charged 35-year-old Bryan William Demarais, of Dassel, with second-degree murder and two counts of child endangerment on Tuesday.
Charging documents state that Demarais called 911 at around 10:15 a.m. on Dec. 28 and said he’d just murdered his wife, Kayla, at their home. He added that their two kids, ages 8 and 11, were also in the home and asked them to be taken out of a bedroom window so they wouldn’t see anything.
He surrendered and was arrested when law enforcement officers arrived at their home. Kayla was found dead inside from multiple gunshot wounds to her head and the children were removed through a window.
At the jail, a criminal complaint states that Demarais said he and his wife were arguing the night before about financial problems and marital issues. He added that his wife was cheating on him. When he woke up on Dec. 28, he said that he saw messages from the man his wife was allegedly having the affair with on her phone and they got into another argument.
As he left for work, Demarais told his kids that he and Kayla were getting a divorce and blamed it on his wife’s alleged affair, according to court documents. Demarais and his wife talked on the phone while he drove to work but he told police that the conversation made him even more upset.
His supervisor told police that Demarais showed up about 15 minutes late for work that morning, then said he and his wife were getting a divorce because she was cheating on him and added that he didn’t know if he could work. The supervisor said he allowed Demarais to go home because he was “distraught” and “very upset,” but first offered additional services that Demarais declined, the complaint states.
The kids told officers that they were playing a video game in the older child’s bedroom when Demarais came back home. He then gave them a snack and was yelling at his wife.
The kids said they then heard gunshots and, through the open bedroom door, saw their mother fall to the ground, the complaint states. They added that their mother yelled for them to call 911 but Demarais yelled at them to just close their door and he’d call 911.
Court documents note that the kids said they were scared and thought someone was coming into their home, and they also heard “a lot” of gunshots.
Investigators noted that a fresh bullet entry hole was found entering the younger child’s bedroom through the wall.
Demarais suffers from anxiety, a sleep disorder and other medical issues, qualifying him for services by a caregiver, according to the complaint. He’d designated his wife as his caregiver.
He made his first court appearance Tuesday morning.
A GoFundMe has been started to help Kayla’s family and had raised more than $8,300 as of Tuesday afternoon.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, several resources are available to offer help. For immediate help, contact:
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.
- Minnesota Day One at 866-223-1111.
- The Women’s Advocates crisis line at 651-227-8284.
More than 12 million people just in the U.S. are affected by domestic violence every year, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
The organizations listed above can help connect victims to resources like safe shelter, advocacy, legal help and support groups.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline also offers tips for identifying abuse and supporting victims of abuse. CLICK HERE to see those.
Other organizations that can help include:
- Violence Free Minnesota at 651-646-6177 or 800-289-6177.
- Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project at 612-343-9842.
- Mending the Sacred Hoop at 888-305-1650.
- Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault at 612-209-9993.
Minnesota also has a list of many other resources for victims of crimes that can be found HERE.