Jurors Thursday viewed videotaped statements the defendant gave — one to investigators and one to a television station — in connection with the deaths of his parents, Dennis and Norma Woodruff, whom he was alleged to have killed in their Royse City-area home in October 2005.
Testimony is expected to continue today in the 354th District Court.Charla Woodruff recounted her version of the events of the night of Oct. 16, 2005, the night when prosecutors allege Brandon Woodruff shot and stabbed his mother and father. Their bodies were found two days later.Charla Woodruff is currently employed as a detective in Magnolia County, Arkansas, but in the fall of 2005 she was attending Southern Arkansas University.
On the night in question, she testified she had been visiting relatives in Texarkana and was preparing to return to the campus in Magnolia, Ark., about an hour away. Charla Woodruff said her mom and grandmother talked on the phone briefly at around 9 p.m., and Charla told her grandmother to let her parents know she would call them when she got back to the university.She said she tried at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. that night, but never got through to her parents. She said she wasn’t concerned at that point because it sometimes happened that her parents would call her right back once they saw she had called on their Caller ID.
By the next night, Charla Woodruff still had not talked to her parents, so she contacted Brandon Woodruff and asked him to try. Charla said Brandon promised to try and would call her back, but did not.Charla said on the morning of Oct. 18, she tried calling other family members, to see if they had made any contact with her parents. Charla said she called her mother’s job that morning.“They said that she hadn’t been in for two days,” she said, adding she heard the same thing from her father’s employer.
Charla tried Brandon again, who told her he would try again and call her back. Charla said she never heard from her brother.
Upon learning her parents were dead, the family gathered in Texarkana to prepare for the funeral. Charla said she asked Woodruff what time he had left the Royse City home. Brandon told her he left at 6:30 p.m. in order to give a friend of his a ride back home to Abilene Christian University, where the two were enrolled as freshmen.
But the friend would testify and tell investigators he believed Woodruff was going to pick him at a home in Denton that evening for the ride back. Instead, he met up with Woodruff at a Dallas restaurant several hours later.At the time of the murders, the Woodruffs were in the process of moving out of their home in Heath into the Royse City restaurant.
A neighbor of the Woodruffs in Heath had earlier testified he observed Brandon Woodruff at the Heath residence shortly after 10 p.m. on Oct. 16, 2005 and that Norma Woodruff’s Chevrolet pickup, which had been parked at the Heath residence, was gone the next morning and Brandon Woodruff’s older Dodge pickup was parked in its place.
While talking to investigators with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office prior to his arrest, Brandon Woodruff said he was driving the Chevrolet pickup that night, although witnesses have repeatedly testified Norma Woodruff didn’t let her son use the truck.
In the tape played for the jurors Thursday, Texas Ranger Jeff Collins repeatedly asks Woodruff about the discrepancies between his other’s accounts of that night.
“There’s huge inconsistencies,” Collins tells Woodruff, who repeatedly denies having any involvement in his parents’ deaths.
“There would be no way in this world I’d ever do anything to my parents,” Woodruff said.Jurors were also shown an interview Woodruff made with Dallas television station KTVT shortly after his arrest, where he again denies he killed his parents and expresses his criticism of the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office for considering him as a suspect.
“The truth will come out someday,” Woodruff said at the end of the interview.