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Murder In The Family: Brandon Dale Woodruff killed his parents, Dennis and Norma Woodruff; Sentenced to LWOP

dvawareness3From Brandon Dale Woodruff’s appeal: Charla Woodruff, Brandon’s sister, attempted to contact Dennis and Norma by telephone when she reached her college apartment at 11:00 p.m. on the night of the murders.3 Several other family members, including Brandon, attempted to contact Dennis and Norma. The following day, the police were requested to conduct a welfare check. Although no one responded to the police officers, the police did not force entry into the residence. At the request of Linda Matthews, Brandon’s aunt, Todd Williams forced entry into the residence and discovered the deceased.

The crime scene indicated Dennis and Norma were killed without a significant struggle. They were sitting next to each other on their living room couch, covered in blood, and obviously dead. Dennis’ spit cup was still in his hand. Norma was found seated facing her husband, and the police theorized that Norma may have been attempting to duck behind her husband. The crime scene investigation did not reveal any signs of forced entry, any signs of a struggle, or any signs the house had been ransacked. Investigator Tommy Grandfield testified he did not believe the position of the bodies was suggestive that the victims had been taken by surprise. The wallets of Dennis and Norma were missing, but many valuables, including a handgun, a computer, jewelry, and appliances remained.

The police noted blood droplets in front of the couch and a trail of blood droplets leading from the couch toward the guest bathroom and bedroom. Neal Martin, a crime scene investigator with the nearby Smith County Sheriff’s Office, testified the blood droplets in front of the couch and the trail of blood droplets were the result of “`passive blood flow’ or simply free-falling blood.” There were hairs in the bathtub of the guest bathroom that were very dark with light roots.4 The scene also contained blood stains on mini-blinds behind the couch, which were most likely caused by a high-velocity impact, such as a gunshot wound. No shells were discovered at the scene, which suggested the murderer either used a revolver or had picked up the casings before he left. Due to the soot and stippling, Dr. Sheila Spotswood, the pathologist who performed Norma’s autopsy, testified the murderer discharged the firearm at less than twelve inches from Norma.

During the autopsy, large caliber bullets were removed from Norma’s neck and from Dennis’ cervical vertebrae. Norma died from five gunshot wounds5 and a four-inch-deep stab wound across her neck. Dennis died from a gunshot wound to the face and nine stab wounds to his face, neck, and chest.

Brandon had been attending Abilene Christian University and had kept a dagger in his dormitory room.6 When the room was searched after the murders, the police did not discover the dagger. Kathy Lach, Brandon’s aunt, discovered the dagger in the barn at Dennis and Norma’s residence in Heath, Texas,7 two and a half years after the murders. The dagger was approximately sixteen to eighteen inches long with a twelve-inch blade. Eric Gentry admitted he had previously told the Texas Rangers that the knife blade of Brandon’s dagger was only about six inches long, but testified he was absolutely certain the dagger introduced into evidence was Brandon’s. A spot of Dennis’ blood was discovered under a skull located on the guard of the knife.

Although the police searched the barn after the murders, they did not find the dagger. Approximately ten days after the murders, the police, with the consent of Charla, searched the Heath house. Grandfield testified that they “looked everywhere,” including underneath the house. Charla testified the barn at the Heath house contained items which were moved from a prior residence and never unpacked, as well as items that had piled up over the years. Investigator Joel Gibson conceded that the dagger could have been placed in the barn by someone other than Brandon. The barn was not locked until years after the murders. After the murders, but before the discovery of the dagger, the barn had been cleaned out and items from the Heath house were stored in it.

Woodruff trial underway in Hunt County
Attorney for Woodruff has already filed appeal, says prosecutors tried to use defendant’s orientation to prejudice jury
Autopsies questioned in murder trial of former ACU student
Woodruff trial testimony: ‘There was a lot of blood around the bodies’
Friends of man accused of killing parents in Hunt County testify he was late, jumpy that night
Woodruff found guilty of capital murder in parents’ deaths
Woodruff found guilty of capital murder in parents’ deaths
Woodruff found guilty of capital murder in parents’ deaths
Brandon Dale Woodruff v State of Texas 2010 (conviction and sentence affirmed)
DNA testing approved in murder case
More DNA tests sought in Woodruff murder case

Movies/Documentaries
Nightmare Next Door: Lone Star Mystery

INMATE INFORMATION

Brandon Dale Woodruff

SID Number: 07606256
TDCJ Number: 01559439
Name: WOODRUFF, BRANDON DALE
Race: W
Gender: M
DOB: 1986-09-06
Maximum Sentence Date: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE
Current Facility: ALFRED HUGHES
Projected Release Date: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE
Parole Eligibility Date: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE

Offense History
Offense Date: 2005-10-16
Offense: CAPITAL MURDER
Sentence Date: 2009-03-20
County: HUNT
Case No.: 23319
Sentence (YY-MM-DD): 5555-55-55

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One Response

  1. What a scumbag.

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