A man convicted of helping to kill a gay man in 1991 has been paroled after 18 years in prison.
Jon Buice was one of The Woodlands Ten” who killed 27-year-old banker Paul Broussard in one of the nation’s most famous hate crimes. Jaime Aguirre, Javier Aguirre, Derrick Attard, Chance Paul Dillon, Rafael Gonzales, Gayland Randle, Leandro Ramirez, Brian Spake, and Jeffrey Valentine made up the remainder of the ten, seven of whom were teenagers.
Fueled by a two-day drinking binge, the ten men ended their night of gay-bashing through the streets of Montrose when they asked Broussard and his two friends where they could find Heaven, a popular gay nightclub in the area.
“They chased down Paul and two of his friends,” said the City of Houston Mayor’s Crime Victims Office Director, Andy Kahan, in 2009. “They beat him. They hit him with boards. They kicked him with steel-toe boots. Then, finally, Jon Buice pulled out a knife and basically gutted him like a deer.”
All ten received prison sentences; Buice received a 45-year sentence.
Broussard’s mother, Nancy Rodriguez, fought Buice’s parole, and he was denied four times. She has repeatedly appealed to the public to support her with letters, which she took to the parole board hearings.
Buice’s release comes exactly twenty years and one day after the July 4, 1991 killing. In 1999, he wrote a letter to the gay community which was published in the Houston Voice in which he apologized for his part in Broussard’s killing.
Ray Hill, a longtime gay activist and host of a prison radio show who initially fought for “meaningful sentences” for the men, said Buice has been rehabilitated.
“I have successfully done time,” Hill said in 2009. “So I am showing him how to do time. Meanwhile, I am plumbing his mind for any sign of homophobia and I don’t find it.”