2015 Letter to Friends

 June 20, 2015

Dear Friends,

        I am writing you today on behalf of my parents, Chung and Jim McArdle, and my brother, Terence. When we reached out to you three years ago we were initially filled with anxiety. We worried that the man who killed Terence would be released far too soon. Our fears were allayed when hundreds of personal letters began pouring in. Before I begin, with all my heart, I thank you for the support you’ve shown Terence and our family. Terence lived his life with compassion, and it’s reassuring to know that he surrounded himself with people who live similarly. We love you all.

        Your letters did so much more than just protest Brandon Threet’s parole. Your combined letters sculpted a vivid memory of Terence, remembering him as the big-hearted, constantly laughing, rambunctious young man he had grown to be. Each letter was a chapter about Terence, and each memory precious. For those of you who allowed us to read your letters, some made us cry, but just as many helped us laugh. We know just how silly Terence was. And for those of you who requested privacy, we’re just as glad knowing that those memories of him are so well protected.

        Terence attended UT with plans to become a social worker. In his college entrance essay, he wrote, “My goal is to reach an old age and be able to look back on my life and smile, knowing that others have benefited from me being alive and that I have impacted their lives in a positive way.”

        When we lost Terence, we lost a large part of our lives. In the wake of his death, we’ve aspired to live our lives similar to how Terence wanted to. My parents have been with victims’ families while they’ve attended court, and coped with the grief that comes with a trial. We also volunteer at the Christi Center, and have built a small garden there as a place for people to pause and reflect. Finally, my parents opened our home to foster children, hoping to provide some stability in these children’s lives. We think of Terence everyday, if he were still alive, he would do a lot more and better than us.

        As you know, the 2012 parole protest was successful. The parole board denied Brandon Threet’s request, and set his next hearing on September 12th, 2015, the maximum length it could be. According to Texas Department of Criminal Justice Victim Service Division’s Director, Angie McCown and Deputy Director Mark Odom, this parole protest was one of their largest.

        Due to the sheer number of letters protesting Threet’s parole, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice expedited an upgrade of their equipment and software with increased capacity for parole protests. The system is now more organized, the scanned letters are clearer, and the photos are in color. While not perfect, it’s better than it has ever been, and it ultimately has helped other victims' parole protests. That is in large part thanks to your letters and to TDCJ’s support.

        Throughout this entire nightmare, from when our Terence lay comatose in a hospital bed, then to the trial, and to every appeal Brandon Threet has attempted, my family has witnessed and felt the pain of a system that focused more on Threet and not Terence. This parole protest was finally a chance to show the justice system just who Terence was.

        I’m sorry but I must request your help once more. When my mother asked me what we should do about Brandon Threet’s upcoming parole hearing, I could see the pain and concern in her eyes. Every night I wish Terence good night, and I would not be able to sleep if I didn’t protest Threet’s parole with every ounce of my will.

        I have not forgiven Brandon Threet, I’ve tried and failed, and maybe one day I will, but thirteen years in prison is not enough. During the trial, witnesses testified that Brandon Threet attended other parties beginning only one month after he killed Terence and continued doing so until the trial. Every time Threet appealed, my family was forced to relive this nightmare.

        I believe in the criminal justice system, but justice has not yet been delivered. A jury of twelve sentenced him to twenty years and I believe he deserves every second of it, however, Threet disagrees, believing his sentence was too harsh. He has spent the past thirteen years appealing his conviction, even ultimately to the US Supreme Court, and each time his conviction was affirmed.

        I cannot and will not forgive Brandon Threet because he has never publicly acknowledged the full extent of his wrongdoing, sought forgiveness, nor has he exhibited any remorse for what he did to Terence. During the trial, and his four subsequent appeals to higher courts, Threet has denied there was enough factual evidence to convict him of killing Terence. A person like Threet is still a danger to society, and he should not be paroled.

        We know it’s very difficult to write a parole protest letter. For those of you who wrote one in 2012, it’s ok to re-date the letter and send it again. If you wish to do this and no longer have your letter, but had sent us a copy, we can send you back a copy.

        Please refer to the website below regarding information about Brandon Threet’s crime, what should be included in a protest letter, and where to send it. Please send your letters by the end of July and no later than mid-August 2015.


        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 one. It’s almost been fourteen years but you can still help Terence. We respectfully request that you help us protest Brandon Threet’s parole once more.

Brendan McArdle

Chung-Chung Chiu McArdle

James McArdle

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...