AUSTIN, Texas -- A former Texas sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for killing his ex-wife, teenage stepdaughter and the stepdaughter’s boyfriend.
Former Travis County sheriff’s deputy Stephen Broderick, 42, was automatically sentenced after pleading guilty to capital murder Tuesday in Austin in the 2021 deaths of ex-wife Amanda Broderick, 35; stepdaughter Alyssa Broderick, 17; and Willie Simmons III, 18. Broderick rammed his vehicle into ex-wife's vehicle and shot dead all three people inside.
Prosecutors set aside a possible death penalty in exchange for the guilty plea.
The ex-deputy killed the three during a custody visit with his son, whom he didn’t shoot. Stephen Broderick was free on bond at the time of the shooting after being charged the year before with the sexual assault of a child and losing his job as a result.
Stephen Broderick was ordered to wear a GPS tracking device, but state District Judge Karen Sage ordered the removal of the device five months after his release, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Prosecutors dropped the sexual assault charge as part of Broderick's plea deal. Amanda and Alyssa Broderick's family said the dismissal denied justice to Alyssa, who was the victim of the sexual assault.
But prosecutors said they doubted they could obtain a conviction on the charge because the victim was dead.
Sage, who passed the sentence on Broderick, expressed sympathy with their anger.
“I wish I could bring you justice,” Sage said. “But the truth is, the loss you’re suffering, there’s nothing I can do to make that loss go away. It’s the best we can do in the system we have, and it’s never enough. My heart goes out to you. Three beautiful, wonderful people — I see their lives shine on through all of you. I hope that at some point you can find some peace.”
This story was first published on Sept. 14. It was updated on Sept. 15 to correct that Broderick rammed his vehicle into ex-wife’s vehicle and shot the three people inside, not that he rammed into her house and shot the three inside it.