An Arlington man charged in the July shooting death of a Crawford woman lost his bid for a bond reduction Friday and will face the death penalty, McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna said.
Judge Matt Johnson of Waco’s 54th State District Court denied a request from James Ray Brossett to lower his $5 million bond after Reyna recounted Brossett’s extensive criminal past and his obsession with Laura Patschke that eventually led to her death.
The stocky Brossett, 48, a former bodybuilder, wore black-and-white jail garb to the brief hearing. He pleaded not guilty to capital murder and attempted capital murder charges, although Reyna told the court that Brossett has confessed to the crimes.
Brossett was free at the time of Patschke’s death on two bonds related to stalking and violating a protective order involving Patschke. He also is charged with shooting Patschke’s 18-year-old son, Trevor, in the arm during the early-morning incident at their home.
Reyna told the court it was no accident that Brossett drove from Arlington to Crawford that Sunday night or early Monday morning when Trevor and his younger brother and sister had just returned to their mother’s home from a holiday visit with their father. Brossett intended to kill the whole family, Reyna said.
Reyna said Brossett, a stonemason, parked his truck about a mile away from Patschke’s home on Bosque Ridge Boulevard and walked through the woods. He got lost along the way and it took him more than two hours to reach Patschke’s house, Reyna said.
Knowing of Brossett’s violent tendencies toward women and their mother, Patschke’s sons slept with loaded weapons near their beds, Reyna said.
Brossett kicked open a door and went to Patschke’s bedroom and fired a shot at her.
The boys came running from their rooms with guns, and Brossett shot Trevor in the arm, Reyna said. As their sister hid in her room, the boys fled the house. Brossett then returned and fired two more shots at Patschke, striking the 48-year-old at close range with his 12-gauge shotgun, he said.
Brossett, who had taped a flashlight onto his shotgun barrel, then went outside to look for the children to “finish what he had started,” the district attorney said.
He later found the keys to Patschke’s car, which he drove to where he had parked his truck, then left her car and went to the Fort Worth area in his truck, where authorities arrested him.
In arguing against the bond reduction, Reyna told the judge that Brossett was free on two bonds when he allegedly committed the murder. Reyna said Brossett sent Patschke more than 200 harassing text messages on the day he was freed from jail the last time.
Brossett served three years in prison after pleading guilty to assault family violence with bodily injury in 2003 and has a 1997 conviction for violating a protective order. He has three other arrests relating to violence against women dating back to 1987, prosecutor Michael Jarrett said.
Waco attorney Walter M. Reaves Jr., who represents Brossett with Michelle Tuegel, asked the court to set Brossett’s bond at $500,000.
Johnson said he will set a status hearing in the case for January. No trial date has been set.