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Former Texas sheriff's deputy sentenced to life in prison for killing ex-wife, stepdaughter and man

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 the deaths of ex-wife Amanda Broderick, 35; stepdaughter Alyssa Broderick, 17; and Willie Simmons III, 18. 

The ex-deputy was on a custody visit with his son in April 2021 when he rammed his vehicle into his ex-wife's house in Austin and shot dead all three people inside. He did not shoot his son.

At the time of the shooting, Broderick was free on bond — he had been charged the year before with the sexual assault of a child. He lost his job as a result and 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

A massive manhunt ensued after the shooting. The following day, Broderick was taken into custody just outside of Austin after several people reported seeing a man matching the suspect description provided by authorities.

During his trial, prosecutors set aside a possible death penalty in exchange for the guilty plea.

They also dropped the sexual assault charge as part of Broderick's plea deal. Amanda Broderick's family said the dismissal denied justice to the child.

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 and 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."

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