A McLennan County Judge sentenced a 50-year-old man who pleaded guilty to killing a Crawford woman in 2015 to life in prison on Monday.
As part of a plea agreement, James Ray Brossett pleaded guilty to the charge of capital murder in the death of Laura Lynn Easter Patschke, 47, whom he had previously dated.
In addition, he pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of her son. In exchange of his guilty plea and all rights of appeal, prosecutors recommended life in prison without the possibility of parole for the capital murder charge and life in prison for the attempted capital murder charge.
"This isn't about Mr. Brossett, this isn't about him. This is about Laura Patschke and her children and her family and their day in court today. And that's what I want everyone to know is not to forget her," Reyna said.
Brossett broke into Patschke's home and killed his ex-girlfriend with a shotgun. He then shot at Patschke's son in the arm as he was trying to protect his mother. Before the capital murder and attempted capital murder, Brossett was arrested for harassment a week ago after Patschke took out a protective order against him.
McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna said the death penalty was on the table in the past. After communicating with the family, the DA's Office offered Brossett life without the possibility of parole and the defendant accepted it.
Elizabeth Baumgart, Laura Patschke's sister sent a statement on behalf of her family:
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the public servants of McLennan County for bringing about justice for the murder of Laura Patschke and the attempted murder of her son. The District Attorney, Abel Reyna, and his staff met with our family on several occasions. We are in full support that this resolution is both just and merciful for our family. Although others may feel that the death penalty would have been the only true justice for James Brossett, our family feels that life without the possibility of parole spares Laura’s children and family decades of future legal proceedings."
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