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Paroled murderer Jon Buice: ‘Killing of gay banker wasn’t a hate crime’

Paroled murderer Jon Buice: ‘Killing of gay banker wasn’t a hate crime’
It’s his first interview since being released from jail on parole, and he assures it will be his last.

Talking to KTRK-TV, convicted killer Jon Buice insists his 1991 murder of Paul Broussard, a Houston Banker, was not a hate crime at all.

Broussard was beaten to death and stabbed in the streets of Montrose; a crime that’s become one of America’s most notorious antigay attacks.

“This was not a hate crime,” Buice says. “It was a bunch of teens high and drunk in a pack mentality… [The crime] was mislabeled from the start, and once the ball got rolling, it was too hard to pack up.”

Buice served 23 years of the 45-year sentence he got in a plea bargain. He was granted parole in November over the protests of Nancy Rodriguez, the mother of victim Paul Broussard.

Buice was 17 when he and nine other teens and young men drove into the city looking for gays to harass.

They found Broussard, 27, and two friends walking near a gay nightspot, and the two groups got into a fight.

In attempting to flee, Broussard ran into a dead-end alley, where he was surrounded and attacked and fatally stabbed by Buice.

The November parole decision brought protests from within the criminal justice system and the LGBT community.

“The murder of Paul Broussard clearly was a hate crime,” Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said in November. “The decision of this board sends a terrible message in a time when these crimes seem to be flourishing.”

Noel Freeman, former president of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, called his release a “travesty of justice.”

Broussard’s mother had called for Buice to serve at least 27 years behind bars – one year for every year of her son’s life.

Buice had previously been denied parole at least eight times.

Broussard1Broussard tells KTRK he’s still traumatized and haunted by the murder.

“There’s not a day I open my eyes and don’t think about what happened July 3, 1991,” he said. He says he’s still full of “regret, guilt and shame.”

“You can’t erase it. If you are involved in taking someone’s life, you carry a burden on your shoulders like a lead weight. The only way to rid yourself of it or accept it as a human being is to admit it and take responsibility for your actions. It’s part of growing into a man.”

“Can a person who’s done something horrible be forgiven by a whole community? I don’t know, we will see. To be known for who I am today would be something good. To be known for what I did at 17, would not be good. I want to show people there is an opportunity for a person to grow into a good human being.”

Watch “The Final Interview” below:

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