YULEE, Fla. — William Broyles, the Nassau County man accused of killing his wife and two adult children, made his first appearance before a judge Thursday.
“Mr. Broyles you will be held at no bond... at this time for each of these charges,” the judge said.
Broyles, 57, was wearing a teal vest and appeared to twitch at times when the judge was speaking to him.
“You are being arrested on three counts of second-degree murder,” the judge said.
Broyles is charged with three counts of second-degree murder, each count is a first-degree felony and punishable for up to life in prison. He was issued a public defender and was told not to speak on the phone about the case.
“Mr. Broyles, do not use the telephone to talk about this case. The only individuals you are to talk to are our office, our investigator, and our family attorneys who will be out to see you. The phones are recorded, your cellmates are recording you, you are not to be discussing the facts of this case as it’s to protect your rights, do you understand?” the public defender said.
“Yes sir,” Broyles responded.
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Thursday afternoon that Broyles is on suicide watch.
When deputies asked Broyles why he didn’t just shoot himself, he said he was too scared to do it, Nassau Sheriff Bill Leeper said.
Broyles was arrested Wednesday. Leeper said Broyles called 911 after he shot and killed his wife, 57-year-old Candace L. Broyles, his daughter, 27-year-old Cora Lynn Broyles and his son, 28-year-old Aaron Christopher Broyles.
When Action News Jax asked for that call, a spokesperson said it’s considered evidence and the State Attorney’s Office won’t let them release it.
Broyles told deputies he shot each victim multiple times to make sure they didn’t suffer, Leeper said.
A motive for the shooting has not yet been revealed.
Action News Jax has learned that Broyles was a church musician for at least 23 years at Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville.
According to the church’s website, he was “happily married for 30 years” to his wife Candace. We also learned that he has at least one other surviving child.
Neighbors who live a few houses down from the shooting like Carl Milton say the entire situation is heartbreaking.
“Never heard nothing out of him, they seemed to be super-nice people and it’s just shocking this would happen,” Milton said. You see people every day and everybody looks like they’re enjoying life and you just don’t look for something like that you know?”
Broyles is being held on no bond. He was appointed a public defender. He is due in court again Dec. 21.
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