Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gay Hate Crime Killer Denied Parole for Eighth Time in Texas

Paul Broussard (l) as he appeared in 1991, and Jon Buice in prison uniform [Equality Texas photo image].

Paul Broussard (l) as he appeared in 1991, and Jon Buice in prison uniform [Equality Texas photo image].

Huntsville, Texas – The convicted murderer of a Houston gay man has been denied parole for the eighth time by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Jon Buice, the member of the infamous “Woodlands 10” who dealt the fatal stab wounds to 27-year-old Paul Broussard, was returned to prison on Tuesday to finish out his 45-year sentence, after the Parole Board deemed him unfit for release, according to the Conroe, Texas Courier. Broussard and two friends were attacked by the gang of ten youths outside a Houston gay nightclub on July 4, 1991, and Broussard died as a result of his injuries. Court documents said that the Houston banker was beaten by a nail-studded two-by-four, repeatedly kicked with steel-toed boots, and stabbed three times before he succumbed.

All the assailants were convicted, and served various sentences in Texas for the crime. Because of Buice’s role in this particularly heinous anti-gay hate crime, he received the longest sentence, and is the only one of the Woodlands 10 still in prison. The case received national attention because of the brutality involved in Broussard’s cold blooded murder.

Buice, who has been described by his supporters as a “model prisoner,” was granted parole in July 2011, but because of new evidence presented to the Parole Board at the time, his reprieve was revoked before his release. That evidence has remained confidential to the board, but as in the case of his 2014 parole denial, whatever it was has kept him incarcerated. By special agreement, Buice will come up for review annually.

Broussard’s mother, Nancy Rodriguez, once again appeared before the board to encourage it not to grant parole to her son’s murderer. Every year, she travels from her Georgia home to Texas in order to keep Buice behind bars. “It’s something I do for my son’s memory and because I want justice,” Rodriguez said. Since 1992, Rodriguez has been aided by Victims Advocate Andy Kahan to ensure that Buice serves the majority of his sentence. In a statement to The Courier, Kahan said, “This was a particularly vicious, senseless crime that centered on hate. We appreciate the parole board taking the stand that convicted murders need to serve the majority of their sentence.”  Rodriguez and Kahan have set a goal to keep Buice behind bars for at least 27 years: one year in prison for every year of Broussard’s lifetime. “That was Paul’s entire life before Buice took it from him,” Rodriguez said to The Courier.

Kahan pointed out to the Parole Board that it is rare for release to be granted to convicted killers before serving out the most of their sentences. He said that the savagery of the crime was the reason the board chose to deny parole this time. Buice has served 22 years so far.

Gay activist Ray Hill, a chief advocate for Buice’s release, contends that Buice is reformed, and that a 45-year sentence is too long for a person who was 17 at the time of the crime. Buice’s lawyer, Tim Habem, refused to discuss the arguments he presented for his client’s parole, but vowed to return next year “for another swing at it.” 

Every Sunday, Nancy Rodriguez says she misses her son’s calls. Every Christmas, the holiday he always honored by coming home to see her, is especially hard. “[Paul] was a good student and a good son,” she said. “I just miss him.”

October 25, 2014 Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, GLBTQ, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Jon Buice, LGBTQ, Paul Broussard, stabbings, Texas, Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, Woodlands 10 | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Gay Hate Crime Killer Denied Parole for Eighth Time in Texas

   

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