Summary: In the early morning, two men driving on a golf course road in a Dallas suburb discovered two victims lying beside a car. Ron Whitehead, 21, had been shot in the head six times and his neck was cut four times. Bethena Brosz, 19, was shot twice in the head, once in the knee, and her throat was also cut. Whitehead was dead. Brosz was alive and given medical treatment, but died the next day. Woods admitted to police that he was with the victims the night before their bodies were found, stating that he and Marcus Rhodes had agreed to lead Whitehead and Brosz to a house nearby, but that their two vehicles became separated during the trip. Detectives then interviewed Rhodes, and after a search of his car revealed a backpack and personal items belonging to Whitehead and Brosz, Rhodes was arrested. The murder weapons were found at the home of Rhodes' parents. A latex glove carrying Woods' DNA was found in Rhodes' car after the killings. Woods left the Dallas area, traveling to New Orleans, Idaho and California, where he was finally arrested. Several witnesses testified that before the killings he told them about his plan to commit the murders, and after the killings, he told them about his participation in them. Witnesses testified at Woods' 2002 trial that he lured Whitehead to the isolated road on the pretense of a drug deal and killed him because he knew about another killing involving Woods two months earlier in California, athough Woods' was never charged in connection with this crime. Prosecutors said Brosz merely was at the wrong place at the wrong time and was killed because she was a witness to Whitehead's death. Accomplice Marcus Scott Rhodes was also charged with capital murder. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.
|Steven Michael Woods|
CASE: Steven Michael Woods and Marcus Rhodes shot Ronald Whitehead and Bethena Brosz in a secluded area in The Colony, Texas, in the early morning hours of May 2, 2001. Early in the morning of May 2, 2001, two golfers driving down Boyd Road at the Tribute Golf Course near The Colony, Texas, found the bodies of Ron Whitehead and Beth Brosz. Beth was shot in the right knee, her throat was slashed three times, her shoulder was sliced and she had been shot in the head twice. Ron Whitehead was dead when emergency personnel arrived on the scene at 6:55 am and was shot in the head 6 times, and his throat was cut. Beth died about 24 hours after she was taken to the hospital. That evening, police received several anonymous tips that Woods was involved in the killings, along with Marcus Rhodes. Detectives interviewed Woods, who admitted to being with the victims the night before their bodies were found. He said that he and Rhodes had agreed to lead Ron and Beth to a house in The Colony owned by someone named "Hippy," but that their two vehicles became separated during the trip, so he and Rhodes returned to the Deep Ellum section of Dallas. Woods was not arrested as a result of his interview. Detectives then interviewed Rhodes, and after a search of his car revealed items belonging to Ron and Beth, Rhodes was arrested. Woods left the Dallas area, traveling to New Orleans, Idaho and California, where he was finally arrested. Several witnesses testified that before the killings he told them about his plan to commit the murders, and after the killings, he told them about his participation in them. Woods, Rhodes, Ron Whitehead, David Samuelson, and Staci Schwartz all knew each other from Insomnia, a coffee shop they frequented in downtown Dallas. Samuelson testified that he had talked to Rhodes at Insomnia on the evening of May 1, and Rhodes stated that “he had a job to do” for Woods that night and that he did not want to do it. Schwartz testified that she had had a conversation with Rhodes at Insomnia on the afternoon of May 2, during which Rhodes stated that he and Woods had used Beth's credit card to make an online purchase of tickets to an anime festival. Rhodes told Schwartz that they had attempted to make Samuelson look responsible for the murders by buying the tickets in his name and having them sent to his house. On April 18, 2002, Woods was indicted for capital murder for the killing of more than one individual in the same criminal transaction, for which he was found guilty by a Denton County jury. During a separate punishment hearing, the State, in addition to evidence about the circumstances of the crime and Woods's moral culpability, presented evidence that Woods was involved in the murder of another individual in California one-and-a-half months prior to the murders of Ron Whitehead and Beth Brosz; that Woods got into a fight with another inmate in the Denton County Jail; that Woods, Rhodes, and two other accomplices planned to rob a clothing store in Deep Ellum; that Woods may have planned to murder a woman who was coming to pick up vials of "acid" to sell; and that Woods made "bottle bombs" as a juvenile. The jury found beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) there was a probability that Woods was a continuing threat to society; (2) Woods actually caused the death of the victims, intended to kill the victims, or anticipated that the lives of victims would be taken; (3) there was no sufficient mitigating circumstance to warrant a sentence of less than death after taking into consideration the circumstances of the crime and the evidence of Woods's character, background, and personal moral culpability. In accordance with state law, the trial judge sentenced Woods to death.
QUOTE: "This has been a long road, and a hard one," Janet Shires, Brosz's mother, said Tuesday after watching Woods die. "We will miss her forever, of course. There is no sentence that would change that. But I feel such a profound relief today -- relief that he can never hurt anyone anywhere ever again."
AUTHOR:Janet Shires is the mother of Bethena Lyn Brosz. Bethena Lyn Brosz and Ronald Whitehead were both murdered by Steven Woods on 2 May 2001. Steven Woods was executed by lethal injection in Texas on Tuesday 13 September 2011.