by Megan Smith
The man sentenced to forty-five years in prison for the 1991 murder of gay Houston banker Paul Broussard was denied parole once again and given a one-year setoff on October 15, according to Broussard’s mother, Nancy Rodriguez.
At age seventeen, Jon Buice pleaded guilty to stabbing Broussard in a parking lot near a Houston gay club. Buice was among a group of ten teenagers from The Woodlands who drove into Montrose to “beat up some queers,” as one of the convicted teens put it. The teenagers then proceeded to attack Broussard and two of his friends with fists, steel-toed boots, bear claws, nail-studded two-by-fours, and a knife.
While his two friends escaped the attack, Broussard was killed. Buice, who wielded the knife, is the only one of the attackers who remains in prison.
LGBT advocacy groups, including Equality Texas, support the decision to deny Buice parole. “When is it okay to allow a violent criminal out of jail early?,” Equality Texas asked on their blog. “A criminal who blatantly snubbed his nose at the laws of humanity and, with hate in his soul, struck down another simply because the victim was gay. A criminal who found enjoyment at going out and ‘beating up some queers.’ A criminal who used his fist, steel-toed boots, and a nail studded two-by-four to slowly murder another human being. Not yet.”
Some in the LGBT community, including long-time LGBT activist Ray Hill, have fought for Buice to be released on parole. Hill told the Dallas Voice that he organized the LGBT community in 1991 to make the media aware that a gay man had been murdered and to get justice for Broussard. He argued that the “gay-bashing story is a creature of my invention.”
After befriending the convicted man, Hill has said that Buice has a gay uncle and isn’t homophobic. “This case is about ten kids getting drunk and stoned and doing something stupid that took one person’s life and destroyed their own,” Hill said.
Buice was briefly granted parole in 2011, but the decision was later reversed.
Broussard’s mother wants Buice to serve at least twenty-seven years in prison—Broussard’s age when he was murdered. “My son suffered a great deal and was murdered by Buice simply because he was gay,” Rodriguez said in an interview with Off the Kuff earlier this year. “Paul was a very kind, intelligent, loving, and wonderful person who graduated from Texas A&M. How dare you try to make Buice the victim. He needs to stay in prison. What has Buice done except cause a lifetime of pain and heartache?”