Advocates clash over gay-bashing murder case - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Advocates clash over gay-bashing murder case

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

The last man still serving time for an infamous gay-bashing murder, 21 years ago, is up for parole. And two high-profile Houston advocates disagree vehemently over whether he should get out.

Jon Buice was sentenced to 45 years in prison for fatally stabbing 27-year old Paul Broussard, a bank employee who was attacked outside a gay nightclub by ten suburban teenagers.

"It not only affected me – I lost my child," said Broussard's mother, Nancy Rodriguez. "It affected my family. It affected a whole community."

At the time, long-time Houston gay activist Ray Hill was among those calling for justice. A group dubbed the "Q Patrol" mounted a campaign best described as a gay Citizen's Watch, roaming the streets in groups armed with 2-way radios.

Flash forward from 1991 to now. Jon Buice has served two decades behind bars and he is regularly reviewed for parole.

Last year, a few days shy of the 20th anniversary of Paul Broussard's death, his mother got the call: Buice's parole had been granted.

For Nancy Rodriguez, it was like a body blow. Her staunchest ally, victims' rights advocate Andy Kahan, minces no words.

"We were absolutely shocked and stunned," said Kahan.

They asked for a special review hearing and presented new information that caused parole officials to change their minds. Kahan still won't discuss the nature of the information.

"Obviously it was worthy enough for them to rescind their decision. That's all I'm at liberty to divulge right now."

But these days, Kahan is up against another advocate who's done his own U-turn: Ray Hill is now fighting for Buice's release.

"I don't care what Andy Kahan throws at him, he has been exonerated of every charge," Hill told FOX 26 News last year. "It's time for Jon Buice to come home."

Hill disputes that Paul Broussard's murder was even a hate crime.

And in a parole document reviewed by FOX 26 News, Jon Buice's attorney argues that Broussard was killed by a slow medical response, and not by Buice's knife.

"Paul died as a result of stab wounds, classified as a homicide," retorted Andy Kahan. "No ifs ands or buts."

Broussard's mother doesn't demand that Jon Buice serve his entire sentence; that just doesn't happen in Texas. But she does have a specific number of years in mind.

"It would be a perfect world if he could serve 45 years," Rodriguez said. "But (I want) at least 27 (years). Because that's all the time Paul had on this earth."

Kahan and Rodriguez will make their argument before the parole panel on Thursday. Buice's lawyer wouldn't talk to FOX 26 News "on the record" until after he pleads his client's case, next week.

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