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24 Years Later, Killer in Notorious Gay Bashing to Be Paroled

24 Years Later, Killer in Notorious Gay Bashing to Be Paroled

AP PHOTO

Jon Buice (above right) is the last of the attackers still behind bars for the 1991 murder of Paul Broussard (left). 

Three times Jon Buice appealed for parole of his 45-year sentence for killing banker Paul Broussard of Houston, who was targeted because he was gay, and three times he was denied. But Friday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole voted 2-0 to approve his parole over the objections of the victim's mother, reports the Associated Press.

Buice was 17, and one of 10 youths who set upon Broussard and two friends as they left a gay nightclub in Houston's Montrose district July 4, 1991. Broussard's friends escaped with minor injuries, but the 27-year-old banker was beaten, kicked, and stabbed to death.

At Friday's hearing, Nancy Rodriguez, Broussard's mother, pleaded with the board to keep Buice locked up, along with victims' rights advocate Andy Kahan. Kahan said:

"Before there was Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr., there was Paul Broussard, If Buice had not stabbed Paul, Paul would have been injured, but he would have been alive. He's the one responsible for his death and we are of the opinion you should do at least half your term before eligible for parole."

But Buice did have support from longtime Houston gay activist Ray Hill, an ex-convict himself who was instrumental in helping police track down the suspects following Broussard's murder.

Hill said Buice, who once wrote a letter of apology that was published in Houston's gay newspaper, is rehabilitated. Hill also said he no longer believes Broussard's murder was a hate crime.

Equality Texas, which protested a decision to parole Buice in 2011 and put pressure on the board to revoke it, wrote Monday on Facebook: "We can respect the decision of the parole board. Buice now has an opportunity to demonstrate that he truly is a changed man." Buice was the last person serving time for Broussard's murder.

There was no date provided as to when Buice, now 41, will be freed.

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