A white man shot dead his Black lover to ‘hide his bisexuality’. He was charged with evidence tampering

Side by side photo of Gardner Kent Fraser and Dominic Jerome DJ Broadus

A white man, Gardner Kent Fraser, whose father is a former cop, has been sentenced to one year in jail and four years of probation for tampering with evidence in connection to the death of his Black lover. 

Fraser admitted to shooting and killing Dominic Jerome “DJ” Broadus Jr on 3 February, 2018 outside his home in Baker County, Florida.  But because he claimed that he shot Broadus in self-defence, he did not face any charges related to the killing.

The victim’s father believes Fraser did it to hide his “feminine, bisexual nature”, with law enforcement recovering texts of a sexual nature between the pair after Fraser deleted them from his own phone.

Under Florida’s “stand your ground law”, prosecutors have to prove that the defendant wasn’t acting in self-defence. However, prosecutors believed they did not have the evidence to contradict that Fraser shot Broadus in self-defence.

Instead, he was charged with tampering with evidence. A judge sentenced Fraser to one year in jail – the maximum sentence allowed – and four years of probation for tampering with evidence linked to Broadus’ death. 

Father says his son was murdered to hide Fraser’s ‘bisexual nature’.

Dominic Broadus Sr, the father of the victim, said Fraser “fatally shot my son in the back of the head twice” to “hide his feminine, bisexual nature”. He added Fraser then “tried to destroy any evidence of their relationship by deleting all text from his phone and destroying/hiding my son’s phone, then calling three people before reporting the shooting to the proper authorities”.

Fraser is the son of a retired Baker County police deputy, and the investigation was later turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Once police obtained a warrant, forensic analysis of Fraser’s phone revealed he and Broadus had an intimate relationship.

Police said Fraser got rid of Broadus’ phone to keep their relationship a secret. Fraser also deleted text messages from his own phone. 

However, 35 texts and 115 phone calls between July 2017 and February 2018 were recovered. Investigators said these exchanges included images and conversations that were “sexual in nature”.

Protests over “prejudice” in Baker County.

Anita “Baker” McGoogin, who co-organised protests for the victim, told News4Jax that the investigation brought “light on what everyone knows: the prejudice is here”. 

She said: “The racism, that’s here. The favouritism, that’s here. And just this case alone, tampering with evidence when he was blatantly executed on their property.”

The State Attorney’s office released a statement about the charges filed. The office said: “We have an ethical and legal obligation to investigate and file charges only for those offences we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

“An extensive investigation into the death of Dominic Broadus Jr. determined Broadus showed up unannounced and uninvited to Fraser’s home and private property and initiated a physical altercation that led to the shooting. The evidence in this case, Fraser’s unwavering claims of self-defence, and Florida law do not provide a path for any charge beyond Felony Tampering with Evidence.”

Florida is one of 34 states with a “stand your ground” law. The law is a justification used in criminal cases permitting a person under physical attack to respond in kind. Traditionally, self-defence in criminal defence imposes a duty to retreat before using force. Stand your ground laws remove this duty to retreat in some cases of self-defence.