FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Testimony has ended in the punishment phase of the case of an 18-year-old who pleaded guilty to murder in the shooting and killing of a Fort Worth high school student. A jury will now decide punishment for Broderick Patterson.
Patterson, who was accused of murdering Eric Forrester during a botched home burglary, has already admitted his guilt. For the past three days jurors heard testimony and are now deciding what sentence Patterson, who was 16 years old at the time of the crime, will receive. The jury paused deliberations for the evening at 7 p.m. –– they’ll reconvene at 9 a.m. on Friday.
Forrester and his older sister surprised two teens in their Fort Worth home in April of 2010. Kali Forrester ran from the home, but 18-year-old Eric was shot and killed.
During testimony today it was revealed that Forrester once tutored Patterson’s older brother.
Patterson’s mother, Wynette Perrin, took the stand and sobbed. Her shoulders were slumped as she addressed the courtroom, saying, “I know everybody in this room hates us.”
Perrin went on to say that her nightmare was just beginning, and then addressed the pain of the murdered teen’s mother.
“I am so hurt for Mrs. Forrester. After all of you people leave, I go to an empty room… she goes to an empty room. As mother-to-mother, I know she is hurt. There are no winners here.”
Earlier, Perrin testified that she saw her son begin to change in early 2009 and confronted him after she smelled marijuana on his clothing.
According to court testimony, Patterson was on probation for another burglary when he killed Forrester. He had also been implicated in a purse snatching.
Perrin told jurors that she intended to have juvenile authorities “lock him up,” but never got the chance.
Perrin raised Broderick and his older brother alone after separating from their abusive father when the boys were small. The couple never married and Perrin told jurors their father had been “in and out of jail,” but that he had contacted the boys sporadically when he wasn’t incarcerated.
Perrin blamed the changes she saw in her son on drug use and associating with the wrong kinds of people. She still insisted that he could be rehabilitated.
“He never gave me any indication that he was out of control,” she said.
Under cross-examination, prosecutors assured Perrin that “no one blames” her. But the sobbing mother countered: “But I am responsible… that is our job.” As she covered her face and cried, her last words to the jury, “Oh, my God, it’s just so terrible… that’s all I know.”
Closing arguments were completed and the jury received instructions at 1:55 p.m.
Patterson could be sentenced to up to 99 years in prison.
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