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HOUSTON Jon Buice will be released from prison in October for the 1991 hate-crime killing of Paul Broussard. The parole board granted his request late Friday.

Buice and nine other teens, known as The Woodlands 10, brutally murdered Broussard in what would become Houston s most infamous gay-bashing hate crime.

Noel Freeman, president of the Houston Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Political Caucus, remembers the case well.

They came down here from The Woodlands for the express purpose of beating up some queers, is what they said in their statements after the fact, recalled Freeman. They beat Paul with a nail-studded 2x4, and John Buice gutted him like a deer.

At the time, Buice was 17. He was the one with the knife and received a 45-year sentence.
He has served less than half.

There are people on death row who have done far less heinous crimes that what Jon Buice did, Freeman said.

Broussard s mother, Nancy Rodriguez, flew to Houston last month to plead with the parole board to keep Buice behind bars.

The vote was 2 to 0 to release Buice.

We had anticipated, and certainly hoped, that it would be denied. Our efforts were in seeing how long it would be denied, Andy Kahan said. It was stunning.

This decision sends chills down not only to Nancy's family but to other families of murdered children in hoping that they don't have to undergo the same ordeal, Kahan said.

Now, Freeman is reaching out to the community to help them fight the parole.

We re going to encourage all members of the community to write the parole board, write their representatives, write their state senators, Freeman said. We will mobilize the community. The community mobilized when Paul was murdered back in 1991.

Buice had an unlikely advocate on his side. Gay activist Ray Hill believes Buice has been rehabilitated. Hill once served time in prison and met Buice through his prison radio show.

There is more to life than revenge, said Hill. There s also restoration, forgiveness, understanding. If we have lost all of our human kindness traits, why do we still breathe this air and occupy this space?
Hill doesn t believe it was a hate crime at all.

There was an exchange of words, a fight broke out and somebody died, said Hill. It was alcohol and drugs, not hate.

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Buice is currently classified as a State Approved Trustee. A spokesperson tells us that he s had overall good behavior behind bars and received several college degrees.

Buice will be released with the maximum level of supervision. He will be required to wear an electronic monitoring device, receive substance abuse treatment and have no contact with the victim s family or his co-defendants.

Buice was the last of Broussard s killers still serving time.

Kahan said he will continue to fight.

You know if we lose we go down kicking and screaming and fighting, he said. I don't go down easy.

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