2017 Letter to Friends

                 June 28th 2017
Dear Friends,

I’m writing you today to request your help by protesting the parole of Brandon Threet – the man who killed my brother, Terence McArdle. Recently, we received a TDCJ notification that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles will review Brandon Threet's parole request in September 2017. For those who have written a letter, signed a petition, or done both, my parents and I thank you for helping us in our time of need and for supporting us again.

If you are unfamiliar with the case and why we as a community need to protest Brandon Threet’s parole, then please read on. 

On October 7th, 2001, three days after his 18th birthday, Terence McArdle was brutally attacked by Brandon Threet, a former high-school classmate, during a party at a north Austin house. After laying comatose for a week, Terence died of the injuries caused by Threet.

Based on the testimony of several witnesses, a video recording of the attack, and Threet’s own admissions, Threet planned to attack Terence that night. Threet harassed Terence three separate times within two short hours, escalating his attacks each time.

In their first encounter, Threet called Terence a “faggot,” and yelled at Terence for being rowdy. The second incident occurred when Threet pushed Terence down because Threet said that Terence was wearing ski goggles and acting silly.

Finally, Threet cornered Terence in the backyard and asked Terence to trade punches to the chest with him to settle their differences, stating that the loser would go home. Threet asked and was denied by Terence three times. Nevertheless, Terence relented on the fourth request and agreed.

In the videotape, Terence is smiling, unaware of Threet’s plan, and says, “Don’t break my ribs, ok?” Threet, surrounded by his friends, stands stiff, not smiling. Brett Midgley, the friend videotaping, says, “Oh, shit. Brandon [Threet] is pissed.” Brett probably knows what’s about to happen to Terence.

Threet already knows what he’s going to do, he’s planning to hurt Terence as much as he possibly can.

He lets Terence go first. The moment Terence’s punch hits his chest, Threet steps back, cocks his fist and punches Terence in the face. As Terence stumbles backwards, Threet pounces, following his ambush with more punches. An onlooker tries to pull Threet off Terence, but retreats when Threet begins throwing punches at him as well and pushes the onlooker against a fence.

As Terence tries to stand up, in a push-up position, Threet rushes back and kicks Terence in the temple, like Terence’s head is a football. It makes a loud thud because Threet is wearing steel-toed boots.

After kicking Terence unconscious, Threet left the party to find his girlfriend because she had just broken up with him. He didn’t call 911 – didn’t try to help Terence or check to see if he was ok – didn’t turn himself in even after he discovered that Terence was in the hospital. He didn’t care that he had just killed someone. Instead, he was more concerned about why his girlfriend had dumped him.

Threet is a dangerous combination of anger, selfishness, and cowardice. Since that night and over the course of his sentence, Threet has denied any wrong-doing and never expressed any remorse. I don’t believe that Threet has been nor ever could be rehabilitated.

Witnesses testified that following Terence’s death, they had seen Threet drinking at other parties, like everything was fine. He was a coward the night he killed Terence by tricking him and he is still a coward because he has never taken responsibility for the suffering he has caused.

Threet has appealed his conviction four times – in one appeal, he contended that the evidence was factually insufficient to support his conviction of manslaughter, and in another appeal, he claimed that his famed defense attorney, Roy Minton, was incompetent.

Throughout all this mayhem, we are left with so many questions that we struggle with the weight of them. Why was Terence targeted by Threet that night? Was it because of Terence’s ethnicity?  Why did Threet have to kick Terence in the head?

At trial, we learned that Threet had never met Terence before and in his own words said, “I had no grudge against him” but also admitted that he intended to give Terence “a bloody nose or a concussion”. Meaning that within a very short time, Threet devised and acted upon a plan to trick a complete stranger and, at the very least, severely injure him. Moreover, despite Threet’s provocations, Terence tried multiple times to peacefully remove himself from the situation – yet Threet persisted.

The cruelty that Threet exhibited that night is not the type of behavior that can be rehabilitated. I believe that upon release Threet will be a threat to our community and may harm someone again.

My older brother, Terence, was a compassionate young man. He loved taekwondo, soccer, and music like The Beatles and Green Day. But most of all, he loved people. He was always helping others and making people laugh with his goofy sense of humor and bright smile. In high school, he was part of a peer outreach program and mentored at-risk youth. Like our grandfather, he wanted to be a social worker. During summer, Terence lifeguarded at the neighborhood pool where the kids knew his name and Terence knew all of theirs.

At his funeral, I realized that Terence was a big brother to more kids than just me.

We are asking for your help to keep Threet in prison for as long as the law allows. We know it’s very difficult to write a parole protest letter. For those of you who wrote an earlier parole protest letter, it’s ok to re-date and send it again. If you wish to do this and no longer have your letter, but had sent us a copy, we can retrieve it for you.

Please refer to the website below regarding information about Threet’s crime, what should be included in a protest letter, and where to send it. Please send your letters and petitions by the end of July and no later than mid-August 2017.


After Terence was knocked down by Threet, he needed a hand to help him up, and I know if any of you had been there, you’d have all offered yours. We can’t bring Terence back but we can help keep our community safe.

We respectfully request that you help us protest Brandon Threet’s parole once more.


Brendan McArdle
James McArdle
Chung-Chung Chiu McArdle

Read our 2015 Letter to Friends...

Read our 2012 Letter to Friends

Parole Protest

Click on the following link for helpful points in writing a parole protest letter and/or sign a parole petition: 

Writing a Parole Protest letter...
       Sign a Parole Protest Petition...