Testimony Begins in Slayings of Christian Music Producers | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Testimony Begins in Slayings of Christian Music Producers



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    Testimony is expected to resume Tuesday morning.

    Testimony will resume Tuesday morning in the death penalty trial of a man accused in the slayings of two Christian music producers.

    James Broadnax, 20, is the first of two men who have been charged in the killings to go on trial.

    Families of Slain Music Producers Hope for Death Penalty

    [DFW] Families of Slain Music Producers Hope for Death Penalty
    The reporters who interviewed a man accused of killing two music producers testify in one of the defendant's trial.
    (Published Monday, Aug. 10, 2009)

    In several separate jailhouse interviews after his arrest, including one with NBCDFW reporter Ellen Goldberg, Broadnax admitted to killing 26-year-old Stephen Swan and 28-year-old Matthew Butler outside their Garland recording studio in June 2008.

    When Goldberg asked Broadnax in the interview if he had any remorse for killing Swan and Butler, he shook his head and said, "Do I look like it?"

    Jurors heard from reporters who were ordered to testify about their jailhouse interviews with Broadnax, including Goldberg.

    Jurors also watched police video of his arrest after a routine traffic stop in Texarkana, where he was pulled over in Swan's car.

    Swan's father described to jurors the last time he heard from his son.

    "I can remember the last communication I had from him was a text message that he sent me the previous Sunday, which was Father's Day, wishing me a Happy Father's Day," he said. "In fact, I still have it on my phone."

    If convicted, Broadnax could face the death penalty.

    Family members of the two victims who filled the courtroom Monday, the first day of testimony, said they hoped for the death penalty.

    "It's hard, it's really hard," said Butler's mother, Theresa Butler. "I can't help but tell you that I believe that if you take somebody's life -- especially if you admit to it and give all the details and, you know, he's totally admitted to it -- I believe that he does not have a right to live."

    She said she believed the sentence would "be justice."

    The prosecution expects to finish its case on Tuesday. The jury could get it Wednesday.

    Demarius Cummings, Broadnax's cousin, is also charged in the slayings. His trial has not yet been set.