AUSTIN (KXAN) — A former Travis County Sheriff’s Office detective who shot and killed three people near the Arboretum Oaks Apartments before leading police on a nearly 24-hour search last year pleaded guilty to capital murder Tuesday. He will spend life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On April 18, 2021, Stephen Broderick shot and killed his adopted daughter, Alyssa Broderick; ex-wife, Amanda Broderick; and Alyssa’s boyfriend, Willie Simmons III.
Family members were given the chance to speak directly to Broderick Tuesday. Simmons’ father described Simmons in court as having “a bright future ahead of him.” Simmons played football and was an excellent student, he said.
Family members of Amanda and Alyssa called Stephen “pathetic.”
According to court records, Stephen was first charged with sexual assault of a child in June 2020. He bonded out of jail days after his arrest and resigned from the sheriff’s office, according to a spokeswoman.
According to Stephen and Amanda’s divorce filings, Amanda then requested sole custody of their two children (Alyssa and the couple’s 9-year-old son) due to Stephen having a “history or pattern of committing sexual abuse” on a person under age 18. Additionally, Amanda requested all visits with his kids should be supervised and that he not consume alcohol for at least 12 hours before.
Less than a year later, police said Stephen rammed Amanda’s car, and then shot and killed three people inside of it. A manhunt ensued before he was arrested by Manor Police officers the next morning.
The family said they’re unhappy with the plea deal. The family says he won’t be held accountable for his sexual assault charges under that deal. It was their granddaughter, Alyssa, who brought the sexual assault charges forward. Because she was killed in the shooting, there would be no victim present in that trial.
The family acknowledges going to trial for sexual assault wouldn’t carry a heavier sentence than life without the possibility of parole. Regardless, the family wants Stephen to be held accountable for all charges.
“We don’t care. Even if the judge says, ‘okay not guilty’ it doesn’t matter at least he faced the trial, at least he went to court for what he did,” said Edward Ramirez, the father and grandfather of two of the victims.
Travis County District Attorney José Garza said in a Tuesday afternoon release he is “grateful for [Travis County’s] committed prosecutors” who worked on the case.
“We are grateful for our committed prosecutors who worked tirelessly to hold Mr. Broderick accountable and ensured that he will spend the rest of his life in prison and cause no more harm to our community,” Garza said in the statement. “My heart continues to break for the victims of this senseless act of violence and their families. We hope this outcome brings closure and peace to the victims’ families.”