Confessed Music Producers' Killer Gets Death Sentence

Broadnax gets death penalty in fatal robbery

After deliberating 10 hours, a jury decided Friday that a man convicted in a robbery that left two Christian music producers dead should receive the death penalty.

On Aug. 12 a Dallas County jury convicted James Broadnax, 20, of Texarkana, of capital murder in the fatal shooting of Stephen Swan, 26, of Carrollton.

Broadnax is also accused of killing 28-year-old Zion Gate records owner Matthew Butler.

Both men were fatally shot in a parking lot after leaving their Garland recording studio on June 19, 2008.

Texarkana police arrested Broadnax and his cousin, Demarius Cummings, hours after the shootings. The pair was found in Swan's car during a traffic stop. 

Cummings is also charged in the both killings. His trial has not yet been set.

Broadnax admitted to the slayings in jailhouse interviews with two reporters, including NBCDFW's Ellen Goldberg.

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?"

While the defense told the jury that Broadnax was abused and abandoned as a child, prosecutors pointed to his televised confession and said he deserved the death penalty.

"He has not shown any remorse from the beginning," said Assistant District Attorney David Alex. "And he has not shown any, all the way to the end of the trial."

Prosecutors said Broadnax sometimes laughed during the victims' statements.

"I lost my first born son when he was only 26 years old," Swan's tearful mother, Jean, told the courtroom's audience after the sentence was announced.

Broadnax still faces a capital murder charge in Butler's death.

"You stole our son," his mother, Theresa, told Broadnax. "It would have been better if you would have never been born. Smile and laugh if you think that's funny."

Defense attorneys never put Broadnax on the stand to testify, and told reporters after the trial that Broadnax's interviews were the most likely reason he received the death penalty.

"I've never seen a guy talk his way onto death row before, but we have now," said defense attorney Brad Lollar.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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