Murder Suspects Describe Two Killings in $2 Robbery
The men arrested in the slayings of an aspiring Christian singer and his colleague at a Texas recording studio said in a chilling jailhouse interview the victims were killed at random in a robbery that netted only $2.
Cousins James Broadnax and Demarius Dwight Cummings, both 19, face capital murder charges in the deaths of singer Matthew Butler, a father of two, and Stephen Swan, his employee, outside Butler's Christian recording studio, Zion Gate Records in Garland, Texas.
Broadnax and Cummings, speaking to MyFOXDFW.com from the Dallas County Jail, told the station of their plans to rob somebody the night of June 18. They traveled by train from Dallas to the suburb of Garland because "that's where all the rich white folks stay at," Broadnax said.
Their targets turned out to be Butler, 28, and Swan, 26.
"I made sure they was dead," Broadnax told MyFOXDFW.com
His voice wavering, Broadnax recounted in blood-curdling detail how he shot the men to death in a parking lot outside the recording studio after Cummings asked for a cigarette.
"I just blanked out," Broadnax said. "I shot him [Butler] and he stumbled back. I shot the driver [Swan]. He hit the ground, you know what I'm saying, but he leaned up like he was going to try to get back up, so I shot him in the head.
"Then his homeboy, I shot his *** again, you know what I'm saying, but he was still trying to run off," he continued. "I knew he was going to die anyway, but just to make sure — pop, pop."
Broadnax said he shot Butler twice in the head.
Cummings told the station that he and his cousin had traded an AK-47 as collateral for a pistol to use during what he thought would just be a robbery.
"We didn't plan to shoot nobody and nothing like that," Cummings told MyFOXDFW.com. "No, I take that back. I did tell him we'd probably have to pop them a few times or whatever. I did. But still, I didn't think he was going to do it."
After the men were shot, Cummings said he took car keys and a wallet from Swan, but the wallet contained only $2.
"I ain't never seen nobody die like that, you know," Cummings said. "It kind of shocked me, you know what I'm saying. I was shook."
The men fled to an aunt's house, where they changed clothes, then stashed the pistol at Cummings' girlfriend's place, according to the interviews.
The cousins pawned some tools in Swan's vehicle and changed the car's plates before moving on, they said.
Authorities caught up with Broadnax and Cummings on June 20 in Texarkana in one of the victims' vehicles. A third man was in the car and but later was cleared of any involvement in the murders by Garland police.
Cummings, who insisted "I didn't kill anyone," appeared to have some remorse when asked about the crime.
"I feel real bad, you know," he told MyFOXDFW.com. "I feel it was wrong what we did."
But Broadnax, who described his life as "hell," showed little remorse.
"I kind of regret what I did, but things can't change so no use crying over it," Broadnax said.
When asked about what he would say to the victims' families, Broadnax replied, "**** 'em."
A joint memorial service for Butler and Swan was held Monday.