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Man in prison for 1991 stabbing death granted parole

Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Jon Buice

Last month, Nancy Rodriguez was trying to keep the man who killed her son behind bars, but now the convict had been granted parole.

In 1991, the crime stunned Houston when 10 teens were accused of going on a gay bashing spree. Like the crime 20 years ago, this parole decision has stirred many responses, with even the Harris County DA's Office is weighing in.

Just two days before the 20th anniversary of her son's death, Rodriguez was notified the last defendant involved in killing Paul Broussard will be released on parole.

"What kind of message is that sending to any victim's family?" Rodriguez said.

Last month, Rodriguez and Mayor's Crime Victim's Advocate Andy Kahan tried to convince the parole board John Buice should serve more time. They presented documentation of an alleged relationship the inmate had with a prison chaplain, hoping he would serve at least the 27 years her son lived. He has served less than half of a 45-year sentence.

"He was responsible for stabbing Paul Broussard three times in the abdomen. If he hadn't have done that, if Buice had not stabbed Paul, Paul would have been injured, certainly, but he would have been alive," Kahan said.

Kahan says they are asking the board to reverse its decision.

Ray Hill, a pioneer in gay rights, has supported Buice and helped his fight for release.

"John Buice has all the remorse in the world about Paul Broussard," Hill said of the parole board's decision. "He has never been homophobic."

Other community leaders are questioning the decision.

"We are hopeful that the decision will be overturned; we are going to encourage our members, members of the community to also allow their voices to be heard," said Noel Freeman with the Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transexual Political Caucus.

"We are protesting his release," the Harris County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Broussard was killed on the Fourth of July, 20 years ago. The timing of the decision made it all the more difficult.

"That was cruel, inhumane, disgusting," Rodriguez said.

Buice's release date is set for October.

We spoke with the prosecutor from the case. Mike Anderson, who is now a judge, says he can't comment on the parole board decision but he recalls a case that really bridged a gap between law enforcement and the gay community, saying it proved to the folks in Montrose they had a voice at the courthouse.

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