Serial Killer Lyle Brummett Might be Getting Out
Jesse Sublett received a letter from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in March saying that the man who was convicted of killing his girlfriend and another woman in the 1970s would be released on parole.
His reaction was visceral.
“‘Stunned’ is not the word,” Sublett said. “It’s like getting run over by a truck. You can’t even move.”
In March, Sublett and relatives of two other murder victims tied to convicted killer Lyle Richard Brummett received three different letters with conflicting information about whether Brummett would be released.
One letter said that he would be paroled, but the last one said the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has flagged Brummett for “special review.”
Brummett has been up for parole before, and Sublett said that each time, family and friends of his victims have written letters to the parole board asking that he not be released. This is the first time they’ve received a letter saying Brummett had been approved for release.
Now, Sublett says he and others will travel to Huntsville on May 11 to address the board members in person. They said based on his history of multiple rapes and murders, they hope to make the case that Brummett, now 55, should not be released.
“This guy is not someone who has just made a few mistakes,” Sublett said.
Rissie Owens, the presiding officer for the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, said the board will review new information that is sent to them. After May 11, she said, they could grant or deny parole to Brummett.
“All options are open at this time,” Owens said. “We will review all information and make a decision at this time.”
The information sent to the board could include letters, phone calls and statements from victims’ family members.
It was not clear whether Brummett has an attorney.
On Aug. 16, 1976, Sublett returned to his South Austin home to find his girlfriend, 22-year-old Dianne Roberts, lying in their bed naked with a pillowcase wrapped around her neck.
Sublett, a musician and member of the influential Austin punk band the Skunks, said investigators initially suspected he was the killer. But he pointed them to Brummett, a laborer and friend of his roommate’s who had recently been charged with and was awaiting trial on two rapes in Kerrville, he said.
When Brummett was arrested and questioned by Austin police, he told them that he had killed two other young women in Kerrville — different crimes from the rapes he had been charged with.
Police drove to the city northwest of San Antonio and began searching a grassy pasture around midnight.
Eight hours later, they found the remains of Beth Pearson, 15, and Carol Ann London, 18. Both had been missing for nearly a year, and their families had assumed they had run away together.
Brummett told investigators he had an accomplice in those crimes: Alan Ladd Woody, then 20. Investigators said Woody and Brummett picked up the two girls after their car broke down and then raped and killed them.
Based largely on Brummett’s testimony, Woody was convicted of murdering Pearson in April 1977.
A few days later, Brummett pleaded guilty in Kerrville to London’s murder and was sentenced to life in prison. Later that month, Brummett pleaded guilty in Austin to Roberts’ murder as well and was given a second life sentence to be served concurrent with the first.
When will a life sentence actually mean that? The Justice System has to stop using it as a threat and maybe then criminals will worry about getting that as a sentence. Right now I have a feeling most hear “Life” and think “ok, so about 10-15 years tops?”
Life in prison should mean just that you WILL spend your LIFE, the whole thing, in prison!
On March 5 of this year, the department sent a letter to the families of Brummett’s victims saying he had been denied parole.
Then on March 15, another letter was mailed, this time saying Brummett was “tentatively approved … for release to parole supervision.”
Owens said a board panel interviewed Brummett and voted to release him into treatment but then realized he did not qualify for it.
Finally, on March 23, after calls and letters from the families of the victims, a third letter was sent, saying that because of the receipt of “additional information not previously available to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles,” Brummett is being considered for “special review.”
Verna Lee Carr, an Austin-based victim advocate, said that in her 22-year career working with victims of violent crimes, she has never seen three conflicting documents mailed out as they did in this case.
“I was furious” after seeing the letter saying Brummett would be released, said Pearson’s brother, Martin Valance.
“You’ve got a serial rapist and a serial killer on your hands, and I don’t think the state cares,” said Valance, who now lives near Tyler. “I’ve got a family who’s scared to death.”
Why is his case under “special review”? What reason(s) could they possibly have to put the families (and the communities) through all of this? Does the parole board have no conscious?
Did he find God or learn to poop rainbows in prison? (By the way, that whole finding God is not impressive to ma At All!)
Why are they even considering letting him out?
I can only imagine what these families are going through. This is sadistic. Why are they doing this to the families? My heart goes to them. They deserve peace not continued abuse. They especially do not deserve to be getting abused by the very system that is supposed to protect them from monsters like this.
I signed the petition. I hope that it helps.
To read Jesse Sublett’s full account of this horror please read his blog here.
If you would like to let the parole board know how you feel about letting this serial raping murderer out of prison click here