Mom fighting to keep son's killer behind bars
HOUSTON Broussard's mother will go before a parole board on Thursday in Huntsville, hoping they will decide her son's killer needs to serve more of his 45-year sentence. Nancy Rodriguez has been making the journey from her Georgia home to Houston for two decades. "What would he be doing now that he would be 47 years old?" Rodriguezz wondered. Each time, she tries to convince a parole board the men involved in her son's death should remain in prison. Today there is just one left, Jon Buice. He was convicted of stabbing Nancy's son on July 4, 1991. "He hasn't even completed half of his sentence, and I really don't think he's changed," Rodriguez said. Rodriguez and Mayor's Crime Victim's Advocate Andy Kahan will go into Thursday's hearing not only presenting letters of support for keeping Buice in prison, but new information developed from a former cellmate of Buice that helped them discover multiple disciplinary infractions the past few years and documentation of an inappropriate relationship between Buice and a prison chaplain. "There is no reason for Nancy to have to constantly come here from out of state, year in and year out, to fight a battle that the parole board has within their means to give her a break, and we're going to insist on that tomorrow," Kahan said. . The Broussard case rocked the entire community in 1991 when 10 teens from The Woodlands went on a gay bashing spree. Community projects specialist Sally Huffer with the Montrose Counseling Center says it sparked many changes from a safety patrol around the Montrose bars in the months following his death, to help hotlines today and hate crime enhancements for criminal convictions. "So we recognize that not everybody is going to accept the gay community, we recognize that people are still going to hold their biases, but what they can't do is let that turn in to violence," Huffer said. That violence forever changed this mother's life, but every day since then she's focused on her oldest son, always wondering what he would be doing today. "It's not easy, but I do it for Paul's memory and because I believe in justice, I really do," Rodriguez said. The nine other teens at the time convicted in Broussard's death served sentences from probation to 20 years. There are plans to dedicate a memorial to Broussard on the 20th anniversary of his death on July 4.