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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    James Garfield Broadnax - Texas Death Row

    Stephen Swan, 26

    Summary of Offense:

    Convicted and sentenced to death in the murders of two Christian music producers in Garland in June 2008.

    Broadnax was convicted of killing Stephen Swan, 26. He also admitted killing Matthew Butler, 28.

    He was sentenced to death in Dallas County on August 21, 2009.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    August 21, 2009

    Killer gets death in slaying of Christian music producers from Garland

    A Dallas County jury this morning sentenced James Broadnax to die for killing two Christian music producers in Garland in 2008.

    Broadnax, 20, was convicted last week of killing Stephen Swan, 26. He also admitted killing Matthew Butler, 28.

    Jurors began to consider Broadnax's punishment Thursday morning.

    In closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Andrea Handley reminded jurors to remember the victims and their brutal deaths.

    "Matthew Butler didn't die instantly," she said. "He was shot in the arm, he was shot in the chest, and he was shot in the back. He was crawling."

    She added that Broadnax was a gang member who posed a danger to others in prison.

    "He had no regard for life in the outside world," the prosecutor said. "Why should he have a regard for life in prison?"

    Defense attorneys sought to garner sympathy by recounting details of Broadnax's troubled childhood, saying he'd been abused, exposed to drug use and other crimes, and abandoned.

    "That child does not deserve to die," said defense lawyer Keri Mallon. "Give that child a second chance at life. Give that child mercy."

    Another defense lawyer, Brad Lollar, urged the jury to consider Broadnax's age at the time of the crime – 19 – and that he was under the influence of drugs.

    A co-defendant, Demarius Cummings, a cousin of Broadnax's, is awaiting trial. The two were stopped hours after the murders in Swan's car.

    (Source: Dallas Morning News)

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    August 21, 2009

    Minutes after he learned a jury had sentenced him to death, killer James Broadnax laughed at the mother of one of his murder victims as she told him how he had devastated her life.

    “You stole our son,” Teresa Butler said Friday from the witness stand during that period after the trial where relatives can confront the defendant. “I couldn’t say it better than you said it yourself — it would have been better if you’d never been born.”

    With his back to the room, most people in the court could not see as Broadnax laughed. But assistant district attorney David Alex later said he saw it happen.

    As she left the stand, Butler admonished Broadnax to stop laughing.

    Prosecutor Alex said Broadnax’s reaction was telling.

    “Even at this point, after seeing how many people he’s affected, he’s still over there laughing,” he said.

    He appeared to have no reaction earlier when he was sentenced to die by lethal injection for the murder of Stephen Swan. He also has confessed to killing Matthew Butler as the two left a Garland recording studio in June 2008.

    When the sentence was announced, friends and relatives of the victims smiled grimly, embraced and wiped away tears.

    Broadnax’s mother, Audry Kelly, dabbed at her face, and held tightly to a member of the defense team.

    The jury deliberated for about eight hours over two days.

    “We just took our time going through all the evidence,” said Jay Williams, one of nine men and three women on the panel. “We came to the decision without any reservations, with a very clear conscience.”

    Jury foreman Robert Patterson said the jury “went through a very thoughtful process” and no one person was at odds with the others.

    Patterson, the lone African-American on the jury, was placed on the panel at the insistence of judge Michael Snipes, who was concerned that the group sitting in judgment on the bi-racial defendant be racially diverse.

    “I was not aware of that fact,” Patterson said, adding that, “Race was not an issue with respect to the decision we made.”

    The Broadnax case was the third capital murder jury Patterson has served on, but the first one in which prosecutors have sought the death penalty.

    Patterson said television interviews Broadnax gave after the crime, in which he boasted about killing the two men and expressed no remorse or sympathy for their families, influenced jurors more than the defendant’s impassive demeanor in the courtroom.

    Defense attorney Brad Lollar insisted his client does regret his actions. “James has repeatedly expressed to me that he was remorseful for the pain he’s caused,” he said.

    He also said his client “wanted me to tell anybody out there they should stay away from PCP.” The defense maintained during the trial that one reason Broadnax committed the cold-blooded killings was because he was under the influence of drugs.

    Broadnax apparently wrote letters to both victims’ families last year expressing his regret. Jamie Butler Cole, widow of Matthew Butler, referred to the letter she received when she told Broadnax during her statement that she forgave him.

    She did so, she stressed, for her sake, not his. “It gives me freedom to live my life,” the mother of two said.

    But Deborah Swan, sister of Stephen Swan, said she didn’t know if her family had received such a note.

    She has not been able to forgive Broadnax, she said. “I would like to say that I have, but I can’t.”

    (Source: Dallas Morning News)

  4. #4
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Family of murder victim puts son's music online

    Steve Swan loved music.

    His mother, Jean Swan, said her son never promoted himself like he should have before being killed and robbed in 2008 outside a Christian music recording studio in Garland.

    So, she's doing it for him on the website She hopes to put more songs online after the trial.

    "It's good," she said. "I want people to hear him."

    Here is a video of Steve singing a song called We All Die Before Our Time:"

    The accused killer of Swan and his friend Matthew Butler is on trial this week in Dallas County for capital murder.

    If convicted of capital murder, Demarius Cummings faces an automatic sentence of life without parole. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty as they did for Cummings' codefendant, James Broadnax.

  5. #5
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    In today's TCCA orders, Broadnax's conviction and death sentence were AFFIRMED on direct appeal.

  6. #6
    Jan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    On October 1, 2012, SCOTUS denied Broadnax's petition for a writ of certiorari.

    Lower Ct: Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    Case Nos.: (AP-76,207)
    Decision Date: December 14, 2011

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