AUSTIN (KXAN) — A former Travis County Sheriff’s Office detective who allegedly shot and killed three people near the Arboretum Oak Apartments before leading police on a nearly 24-hour search could soon take a plea deal, according to court documents.
Stephen Broderick is charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of his adopted daughter, Alyssa Broderick; ex-wife, Amanda Broderick; and Alyssa’s boyfriend, Willie Simmons III. Victims’ family members say he is expected to plead guilty to capital murder, carrying the punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“I want him to realize that he took a piece of my heart,” Charlene Ramirez, the mother of Amanda and grandmother of Alyssa, said.
The family said they feel the justice system failed them in this case.
According to the Texas Rangers and Travis County court records, Stephen Broderick was 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 requested sole custody of their two children (Alyssa, and the couple’s nine-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 say 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 system doesn’t have your back,” Ramirez said. “They don’t have our backs. Not from the start. Not from the start.”
The family said they’re unhappy with the plea deal Stephen could get. The family fears he won’t be held accountable for his sexual assault charges under that deal because 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 would not comment. Stephen Broderick is scheduled to be in court for that plea hearing in Travis County Tuesday afternoon.