Suspects say Garland killings netted them 'just $2'

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Suspects say Garland killings netted them 'just $2'

Post  Jennie on Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:57 am

'I feel regretful. I feel for the family, or whatever,' said Demarius Cummings, 19, of Dallas, about the slayings of Matthew Butler and Stephen Swan. That's how much Demarius Cummings said he found in the pockets of two Christian-music producers whom his cousin James Broadnax, speaking in a separate jailhouse interview, admitted gunning down early Thursday in Garland.

The 19-year-old suspects gave interviews Monday at the Dallas County Jail, where each is being held on $1 million bail.

Both are charged with capital murder.

"I murdered both of them," said Mr. Broadnax, of Texarkana, Ark., referring to Matthew Butler, 28, and Stephen Swan, 26. "No hesitation or nothing."

Mr. Cummings, of Dallas, said he would not be surprised to get the death penalty.

"If that's what it is, justice has to be served," he said. "It wasn't the plan to kill them; it was just to rob them.

"I feel regretful. I feel for the family, or whatever."

The motive, both men said, was money.

On Wednesday evening, the cousins took a train from Dallas to downtown Garland looking for people to rob, they said.

"Let's just say, I was in a bind," Mr. Broadnax said. "I needed money. I needed a car.

"They were in the wrong spot at the wrong [expletive] time," he said of the victims. "They should have had their [expletive] at home."

After watching Mr. Broadnax speak on the TV news Monday evening, David Colunga, stepfather of Mr. Butler's wife, said he was "at a loss for words."

"2 dollars. It's heartbreaking," Mr. Colunga said. "All I can say is that hopefully Mr. Broadnax realizes he took a father away from his kids. Hopefully, he can find some kind of peace within himself."

Mr. Butler left a 2-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter. Mr. Swan was single and had no children.

A bicyclist found their bodies just after 1 a.m. Thursday outside Mr. Butler's studio in the 800 block of State Street in downtown Garland.

The day after the slayings, the 2 suspects visited the Dallas apartment of Mr. Cummings' aunt, who overheard them bragging about "hitting a lick," or committing a robbery.

She wrote down the license plate of Mr. Swan's 1995 Crown Victoria, which they were driving.

She also picked up Mr. Swan's driver's license, which the men tossed as they were leaving her apartment.

A few hours later, police in Texarkana, Texas, pulled over the Crown Victoria for a traffic offense.

When they ran the car's tags, police realized that it belonged to a murder victim.

Mr. Cummings has prior arrests on charges of vehicle and home burglary. Public records show no criminal history for Mr. Broadnax.

On Wednesday night, Mr. Broadnax and Mr. Cummings were about to abandon their hunt for someone to rob when they struck up a conversation with Mr. Butler, owner of Zion Gate Records, and Mr. Swan, his sound engineer, outside the studio.

The 2 victims talked for a half-hour or more about their studio and the fact that they were Christians.

Finally, the cousins made their move. Mr. Broadnax said he asked one of the men for a cigarette, then pulled out a gun.

Initially during Monday's interview, Mr. Broadnax said he "blanked out" when he began shooting.

Later, he described the shootings in profanity-laced detail, recalling how he fired multiple times to make "sure they were dead."

After driving off in Mr. Swan's car, Mr. Cummings said, he and his cousin were disappointed in the small amount of money they had gotten.

"Like, 'Man, just $2!' " Mr. Cummings recalled Mr. Broadnax saying. "I said the same thing: '2 dollars!'"

Mr. Cummings said they hoped to fetch more by taking the car to a chop shop in Texarkana.

Mr. Broadnax said he began the night expecting to take a life.

"Somebody was going to get hit any way it went," he said.

He scoffed when asked if he was sorry. "Do it look like I got remorse?" he said.

Elizabeth Colunga, Mr. Butler's mother-in-law, said she had no opinion on whether the 2 suspects should face the death penalty.

"I'm hurting right now," she said. "My daughter is hurting right now. My grandbabies are hurting. They cry every night for Daddy.

"I cannot take one ounce of energy in my body and waste it on thoughts on these 2 men."

(source: TXCN News)
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