Defense Makes Case in Teen Murder Sentencing - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Defense Makes Case in Teen Murder Sentencing

Broderick Patterson could be sentenced to life in prison



    Defendant Broderick Patterson could have his punishment decided as early as Thursday afternoon for his role in the murder of 17-year-old Eric Forrester. (Published Thursday, May 3, 2012)

    Thursday morning, jurors heard defense arguments to withhold a life sentence from a man who pleaded guilty in the death of a Fort Worth teenager.

    Eric Forrester, 17, was six weeks away from his high school graduation, when he and his sister walking in on two teens burglarizing their home, April 12, 2010.

    Defendant Broderick Patterson, who was just 16 at the time, could have his punishment decided as early as Thursday afternoon.
    Patterson’s defense team spent the morning on Thursday trying to convince the jury that he’s a good kid, who got caught up doing a bad thing.

    His attorneys first called a psychologist to the stand who believes the teen felt pressured by a friend to commit the burglary the day Forrester was shot and killed.

    “Teenagers are especially susceptible to peer pressure. Broderick is especially susceptible,” said Dr. Raymond Finn.

    The Fort Worth clinical psychologist tested Patterson’s intelligence and academic achievement and said Patterson scored below average.

    Finn said the teen appears to have issues with his father, who abandoned the family, problems with attention and impulse control.

    “I do see a history of anti-social behavior. He had three arrests before this charge,” said Finn.
    Patterson confessed that he and a friend broke into Eric Forrester’s home in April 2010. Forrester, a Southwest High School Senior, and his sister came home for lunch and interrupted the crime. Eric was shot.
    Patterson claims he wasn’t holding the gun when it accidentally went off.
    The defense is asking a jury to set aside their emotions from hearing the emotional 911 call from Eric’s sister, and listening to testimony from the Forrester family and friends about the impact the teen’s death has had on the family.
    Finn believes Patterson could get help in prison and be released.

    “In my opinion, I think there’s a good chance he could be rehabilitated, because he’s young and immature,”  said Finn.
    Patterson’s attorney told NBC 5 that the defense hasn’t decided if the teen will testify on his own behalf.
    Patterson’s aunt, minister and mother are also testifying for the defense.
    Check back for the latest developments in the case.