Man already charged with capital murder indicted for stalking

James Ray Brossett (Jail photo)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) An Arlington man who already is charged with capital murder was indicted Wednesday by a McLennan County Grand Jury with stalking and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Grand jurors returned the two-count indictment Wednesday naming James Ray Brossett, 47, who already is charged with capital murder in connection with the shotgun slaying of Laura Lynn Easter Patschke, 47, and attempted capital murder in the wounding of her then-16-year-old son.

The capital murder and attempted capital murder indictments were handed down in October 2015, grand jury records showed.

Patschke was shot to death early in the morning on July 6, 2015 in the bedroom of her China Spring-area home.

Her son was wounded by shotgun blasts as he tried to escape from the rural residence.

Prosecutors announced last November they will seek the death penalty in the capital murder case.

Brossett’s request for a bond reduction from $5 million to $500,000 was denied last November in Judge Matt Johnson’s 54th District Court and Brossett remains in custody in the McLennan County Jail in lieu of bonds totaling $5,047,000, charged with capital murder, stalking, violation of a protective order and harassment, online jail records showed.
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Laura Lynn Easter Patschke, 48, was shot several times at close range with a shotgun.

Her son was shot in the arm after he heard "the sound of someone forcing entry into the house," grabbed a gun and went to his mother's bedroom "where he was confronted by a subject shining a flashlight in his eyes," an arrest warrant affidavit said.

The teenager, who told investigators he recognized Brossett's voice, ran out of the house after he was shot and heard several more shots from inside the home while he was running, the affidavit said.

He said he recognized the voice because Brossett "had recently been involved in a dating relationship with his mother."

Patschke was shot several times at close range with a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with large 000 buckshot rounds, the affidavit said.

Investigators found 12-gauge shotgun shell casings around her body, the affidavit said, but later said just five were recovered.

Two other children, a 13-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy, were inside the home when the shooting happened but neither of them was injured.

Patschke was a global deployment, engagement and improvement manager at Shell Oil Company where she had worked almost continuously since 1992, according to her profile on LinkedIn.

She was a graduate of Lorena High School and Texas A&M University, which she attended on a track scholarship, earning degrees in safety and industrial engineering.

Authorities say Brossett parked his pickup truck a mile or more from the home and made his way through a wooded area along a trail that led to the rear of the house.

After the shooting, authorities say, he stole a car that Patschke had rented and fled, driving back to where the pickup was parked.

The rental car was found abandoned in a ditch along State Highway 6.

Authorities were searching for Brossett at the time of the shooting and had urged Patschke, to leave her home several days before she was killed, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said in an interview after the incident.

Patschke, however, said she wouldn't leave the house, he said.

McLennan County deputies, police in Arlington and the U.S. Marshal's North Texas Fugitive Task Force were all actively looking for Brossett as early as July 3 after the sheriff's office obtained warrants for him on stalking and violation of bond charges, McNamara said.

Documents show that Brossett was arrested on a warrant charging harassment on June 30, posted bond and was released.

Two days later Patschke told an investigator that "she was in fear for her safety" after receiving more than 200 texts on July 1 from Brossett that indicated he was coming to her home, and additional texts and more than 10 phone calls from him on July 2.

Warrants were issued for violation of bond/protective order and stalking, and those were still active at the time of the shooting.

One of the affidavits issued in the case shows Patschke had made a complaint about an assault in which she named Brossett as the attacker, but that case remained under investigation and no warrant had been issued, McNamara said.