Death Penalty

DALLAS - The killer of two Christian music producers is headed to headed to Texas Death Row.

After a Dallas jury handed down its sentence for James Broadnax in this high-profile trial Friday morning, the vicitm's families had their chance to speak out.

Broadnax, 28, had his back to the cameras in the courtroom, but on more than one occasion he appeared to be either smirking at the families or refusing to look at them.

If he was listening, their words were harsh.

The jury's decision to punish Broadnax with a death sentence was based, in part, on chilling TV interviews the defendant granted shortly after he gunned down Stephen Swan and Matthew Butler outside their recording studio in downtown Garland last year. Broadnax boasted about the murders and showed no remorse, the jury foreman noted.

After the Broadnax sentence was read, Butler's mother, Theresa Butler, was first to address the killer.

"I can't say it better than you said it yourself. It would have been better if you'd never been born. I have to fully agree with you," Butler said to the condemned man. "Smile and laugh if you think that's funny. That's all I have to say to you. You don't deserve any more of my words."

Swan's mother, Jean Swan, struggled to maintain her composure. "I'm very honored that God chose me to be Steve's mom," she said. "It's impossible to describe my loss. We've lost a great patriot, a fine gentleman and a beloved son and brother."

Matthew Butler's widow, Jamie Butler Cole, said she has forgiven James Broadnax.

Jamie Butler Cole, Butler's widow and the mother of their two children, spoke only of forgiveness as she addressed the convicted killer.

"Mr. Broadnax, I sit here today in front of you to tell you that in my heart, I have forgiven. And I want you to know that," Cole said. "But it's not in my words, or in my actions, or my deeds that your salavation lies. You salvation alone comes from Jesus Christ."

Following the trial, an attorney for Broadnax insisted that his client is remorseful and that he was under the influence of PCP when he committed the crimes.


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