Donald Broadnax was sentenced to death by the State of Alabama for the murders of his wife and her grandson. According to court documents Donald Broadnax who was serving a ninety nine year prison sentence for murder was on work release when he would beat to death his wife and her four year old grandson. Donald Broadnax would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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The evidence tended to show the following. In April 1996, Donald Broadnax, who had been convicted in 1978 for murder and who was serving a sentence of 99 years’ imprisonment, was residing at a work release center in Alexander City and working at Welborn Forest Products in Alexander City. In 1995 Broadnax married Hector Jan Stamps Broadnax, who at the time of the marriage had a three-year-old grandson, DeAngelo Stamps. Broadnax and Jan were having marital problems and Broadnax believed that Jan was partially responsible for a recent denial of parole. The evidence indicated that after 6:00 p.m. on April 25, 1996, Jan and DeAngelo delivered food to Broadnax at his workplace. Johnny Baker, an inmate at the work release center and Broadnax’s coworker at Welborn, testified that he saw Broadnax driving Jan’s car at Welborn that evening. 2 According to Baker, Donald Broadnax stopped to talk with him and he saw a child in a child’s safety seat in the backseat. Baker testified that he was ‘pretty sure’ the child was alive when he talked with Broadnax.3
“At approximately 10:45 p.m. that same night, Mark Chastain, a [supervisor] at Welborn, found Broadnax inside a building while securing the building for the night. Chastain testified that he told Broadnax that the alarm had been set and that they had to exit the building. According to Chastain, when he asked Broadnax why he was still in the building, Broadnax stated that the work release van had dropped him off․ 4
“Kathy Chastain, Mark Chastain’s wife, testified that while she was outside the building waiting for her husband to secure the building, she saw an individual matching Broadnax’s description get out of a [white King-cab pickup truck] and run into the building.
“On April 25, 1996, Robert Williams and his wife were living across the street from a house in Birmingham that had in the past been used as a ‘crack-house’ and for prostitution. On that evening as Williams and his wife left their house at approximately 8:20 p.m., they noticed no cars were parked at the house across the street. When they returned at approximately 8:50 p.m., they saw a white Dodge Aries automobile parked behind the house. Because of the previous illegal activities occurring at the house, Williams telephoned the police and reported the presence of the car.
“Alondo McCurdy and Donna Smith, officers for the Birmingham Police Department, responded to the call and arrived at the residence at approximately 9:00 p.m. When they approached the parked car, they noticed blood on the ground behind the car and on the bumper. Based on their observations, they immediately radioed their supervisor and the paramedics, and secured the scene. It was later determined that the car belonged to Jan Broadnax.
“When the paramedics arrived, they opened the locked trunk and found the bodies of Jan and DeAngelo in the trunk. Both Jan and DeAngelo had been beaten. According to Dr. Robert Brissie, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsies on the victims, blunt-force trauma, which could have been caused by the use of a piece of lumber such as the one found in the trunk with the bodies, caused the deaths of Jan and DeAngelo.5
“On April 27, 1996, Lawrence Hardnette, an inmate resident at the work release center in Alexander City, found a work uniform that did not belong to him stuffed under his bunk. At about the same time, James Smith, another inmate resident of the work release center, found a pair of Red Wing brand work boots under his bunk. The uniform and the boots were turned over to the supervisors and were later identified as belonging to Broadnax. Broadnax was the only one at the work center who wore Red Wing work boots; there were also identifying marks on the work uniforms indicating that the uniforms had been issued to Broadnax. When the work uniform and the boots were examined, bloodstains were found on the uniform [and the boots]. The analysis of the bloodstains [on the uniform] indicated that the deoxyribonucleic acid (‘DNA’) in these bloodstains matched the DNA of Jan and DeAngelo.6
“On the grounds at Welborn near a finishing products storage facility, employees found an earring that matched an earring found on the rear floorboard of Jan’s car. The evidence appeared to indicate that Jan was killed at Broadnax’s workplace in Alexander City, that her body was placed in the trunk of the car, and that the car was driven to Birmingham. Officer Vince Cunningham of the Birmingham Police Department testified that while conducting the investigation, he traveled from the location where the bodies were found in Birmingham to Broadnax’s workplace in Alexander City [several times and determined that the drive time was no more than one and one-half hours]. [Thus, a]ccording to Cunningham, Broadnax could have easily traveled the distance between the two locations within the time frame set out by the evidence.”