A woman whose crime of shooting and killing her ex-husband and his new, younger wife is legendary in the San Diego criminal justice system was denied parole by a state board on Thursday.
Elizabeth “Betty” Broderick, 62, is serving time on two counts of second-degree murder for shooting her former husband Dan Broderick, 44 and his wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick, 28.
It took two trials before Broderick was convicted in 1991. The case involved a spurned woman depicted as a victim of a knowledgeable and connected attorney who gained the upper legal hand in their bitter divorce and battle for custody of their four children.
Sentenced to 32 years to life in prison, the Broderick saga transfixed the national press and was recounted in a book, documentaries and and a made-for- TV movie. She is serving her sentence at the California Institution for Women in Corona.
The Associated Press reports Broderick delivered a “rambling commentary” during the hearing and her children were split on whether she should be paroled.
In the hearing, Broderick claimed she didn’t intend to kill them when she went to her ex-husband’s home, but had “violent thoughts,” as she approached.
Betty Broderick emptied her five-shot .38-caliber revolver on the victims in their bedroom.
Dan Broderick, shot in the back, fell from bed and tried to reach the telephone to call for help, the DA’s office said.
Betty Broderick walked to her wounded husband’s side of the bed and grabbed the phone, pulling it from the wall and dumping it in the hallway out of reach.
Deputy District Attorney Richard Sachs spoke on behalf of the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and said Betty Broderick’s motive of revenge was clear.
Sachs argued that the woman still presented an unreasonable risk of danger to society. Betty Broderick has also yet to develop “appropriate insight or remorse.”
“I’m proud of our office’s work to keep this inmate behind bars where she belongs,” District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said. “We handle hundreds of parole hearings each year, doing our best to make sure dangerous criminals are not released and crime victims are given a voice.”
The decision was reached following a lengthy hearing that included statements from the victims’ families regarding the crime’s impact and Betty Broderick’s unsuitability for parole.
Board of Prison Terms Commissioner Robert Doyle told the convict she had made little progress in her years behind bars.
“You are still angry,” he said. “You show no significant progress in evolving. You are still back 20 years ago in that same mode.