Somebody's Special Somebody Part3...R.I.P
"This is dedicated to Ms. Bethena Lyn Brosz. As a daughter, sister, granddaughter, great-granddaughter, aunt, niece, cousin, friend—in every aspect of her life, she is loved & missed more than we know how to describe.
Bethena was born October 10, 1981 in Dallas, TX at Baylor Hospital. During her school years, she was in many Honors & Pre-AP classes and sang in Choir. She was selected for Who’s Who in American High Schools and graduated high school with a 3.82 GPA. She was working customer service for Web-TV subscribers & taking her freshman year courses at UNT in Denton, TX. She wanted to go to Colorado to study Astronomy for her degree.
One of the last things I remember Bethena shopping for was a baby’s bathing suit (with sandals to match) for her best friend’s little 8-month old daughter. Beth was a very giving person who was always helping others. If a friend needed a ride to buy groceries, to get to a job interview or to work, or to go to the doctor, often she would even rearrange her schedule so she could get them there....
I know that she must have suffered beyond anything we could imagine, in terror & in agony, but I will never understand how anyone could do such a thing to another human being, especially one so gentle & kind as our Bethena. Too much has been taken from her and from us—her smiles, her wedding, her hugs, her children, and the carefree joy of a holiday that does not hold a bittersweet, black empty space where she should be. Murderers have forced this path upon us. Murderers have taken her from her home.
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The men who murdered my precious daughter chose to use their God-given free will for horrifying evil. They shot her in the right knee, slashed her throat 3 times, slashed her shoulder, and shot her twice in the head. Only 5”1” tall & about 110 pounds, she could not have had the slightest chance against 2 men with guns & knives. But in spite of these mortal wounds, God made a miracle & kept her alive for a time, unconscious & unfeeling they tell me. Then He led 2 good Samaritans to find her & call for the Care Flight that arrived within minutes of their call.
Because of that miracle, at least Beth did not have to die alone. We will always believe that on some level she knew we were there with her in the ICU, praying for her & telling her over & over how very much we love her. Also because of that miracle, it was possible for Beth’s wish to be granted—7 of her organs were donated & 5 lives were saved.
That would not have been possible if she had died in that roadside ditch. We thank God for this miracle—that He made sure her wish could be fulfilled in spite of what was done to her. Since we couldn’t change what had happened, fulfilling that wish was one of the last things we will ever have been able to do for her. For us it is the only silver lining in a very, very tarnished situation.
The other victim was found dead at the scene, his throat slashed, shot 6 times in the head. One of the few correct things that has been printed in the news is that everyone connected with the investigations has said that Beth was just in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. But this is little consolation, because what happened to our Beth & the other victim should NEVER happen to ANYONE for ANY reason.
Beth was wounded May 2, 2001. She was pronounced brain dead at 4:30 PM on May 3, 2001. Even before she died, the police had received some very good tips & leads. The first suspect was in custody a few days later, and the second was arrested in another state in July 2001. A CrimeStoppers reward was issued to that anonymous caller that happened to see him & knew he was wanted in Texas. He was extradited back to our home county in Texas in August 2001.
Our DA announced that they would seek the Death Penalty for the first time since 1993 in our county, due to the brutally vicious & preplanned way in which these murders were committed.
One of the 2 suspects, Steven Woods, was found guilty of capital murder. The jury recommended & the judge sentenced him to the Death Penalty. He has been transported to Death Row in Livingston & will be showing up on the TDCJ Death Row website as soon as they finish the "intake process" (psychological testing, etc.) is what the DA's office tells me.
See the link below for the article that was written the Sunday before the trial began and the article covering the final sentencing day--what was not reported in the paper was that Woods had been arrested when he was a juvenile--for making a bomb & leaving it on a neighbor's deck, and another time for aggravated sexual assault--for these juvenile offenses he had received only probation & mandatory mental health treatment (a whole 6 weeks worth).
When the social worker who reviewed his juvenile criminal & mental health history testified that his home environment & lack of proper treatment were mitigating circumstances, our lead prosecutor asked her if the other children that grew up in the same home had become murderers too. Of course, she said she had no way of knowing. But I am guessing that is why the defense did not even put Wood's mother on the stand in the sentencing phase--so our prosecutor couldn't ask her that question--I'm pretty sure I know the answer.
If there were other children in that family who were murderers, if the home environment is truly what made it impossible for him to be/act otherwise, the DEFENSE would have already brought that information out--we would not have had to wonder at all.
We will find out more about when the 2nd suspect's trial will be in the next week or so. His name is Marcus Rhodes. He is still in the Denton County Jail.
We are very fortunate to have the support that we have from our DA's office in Denton County. Jackie Carpenter, Kathy Bomar and Erin Frewin from Victim Assistance were there for us in so many ways. Any time that we had to simply leave the courtroom because we could not bear it anymore, we never had to leave alone--one of them would always be right there for us so we had support.
I really don't know how I would have made it through this horror tale that is our reality without them. The DAs on this case have been amazing throughout, considering some of the horror stories I have heard of what has happened in other places. ADA Michael Moore leads the prosecution team.
We have been working with him for over a year, and I have never had to wait more than a few hours for him to return any call unless he was out of town, and then he would call me back on the first day he returned. ADAs Roger Jones (the head of criminal prosecution in Denton County) and Tony Paul completed that team. We really feel like Bethena did have someone representing her in that courtroom, and for that we are so grateful.
On Monday, August 19, 2001, when that jury recommended the death sentence, my husband Terry & I went to see Beth when we left the courthouse--to sit on that bench and let her know that we were halfway to that justice for her that she so deserves, but that we were wishing mostly that there had never been any reason for any of it--the only true justice would be if we were all home together that evening. But since we can't have that, this will just be the best we can do. Then we had to go to Beth's sister's house & give our grandsons big hugs, and whether they can understand yet or not, I had to tell them that the world just got to be a bit safer place for them on that day.
That trial was the second hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I am not looking forward to doing this again, but we will do whatever is necessary so that at least these particular criminals can never do this to any other person, any other family ever again."