FACT: Bryce was not and is not in a position to handle defending himself against manipulation. UPDATE: An officer requested that the victims wife be investigated. As Bryce's Mother, I want to know why she wasn't.
To whom It May Concern, 12-31-2009 - 2010-2011-2012-2013
My name is Ms. DorothyMarie-MichellePelletier. I am a Veteran and the mother of a minor-child named Bryce. My son has been unjustly incarcerated in a Texas prison. Arrested 12-31-2009
Bryce has a Neurological Disorder with it’s Cognitive and Learning Disabilities. His disability status is O.H.I. Other Health Impaired. I believe he has been set up / exploited before, during,
and after his arrest for this reason.
As per the San Antonio police report, on December 31 2009 the victim Fred Cantu Jr, was shot
once in the chest in his home while he laid asleep on his couch. Nick, Fred’s oldest son told
the police that his best friend Bryce did this. When police arrived EMT was there. Fred was still
alive and was asked who was responsible for this? he answered Nick. I have the police report
which proves this as fact.
My child was alone when questioned, arrested and waived his Miranda Rights. He was
interrogated without an attorney, and I believe he was manipulated and coerced into giving a
false confession. This shooting was never properly investigated once the confession was
At the time of his arrest my son was 15 years old, 6’1 and had failed the 8th grade. Since
2007 for just 3 years our son was living with his father David and stepmother Patricia. In early
2006 Bryce’s father wanted our son to spend some years with him, Bryce wanted this too as
he loves his father. David told me that he would give our son more opportunities than I could
afford. I wanted our son to have more. In 2007 I agreed for Bryce to now live with his
father in Texas.
I had divorced Bryce’s father in Tampa in April 1999. Florida holds Jurisdiction over our divorce decree and it’s agreements / settlements. CASE-99-3728B. My maiden named was restored I have not remarried. Our Joint Custody/Shared Rights remained. Our son had been
in my care in Florida since 1996. Bryce was born 09/09/1994 while we were overseas. I wasn’t aware that my former husband had been enticing our child with material things. David told Bryce about the three large plasma televisions he had, we didn’t have one. He told our son that a dog named Chip was waiting for him in the back yard. Bryce was happy.
After January 4th 2010 Bryce’s father hired an attorney. His father was given immediate plausible deniability. I was excluded from decisions and when I was included I was lied to. My Parental rights continued to be violated. My signature was obtained under false pretense.
Attorney Anthony B Cantrell #3763180.
Within six months after my child's arrest he was deemed a competent adult. I was present during these hearings and watched key persons prompt my child. Whenever he was told the details of what occurred and of his participation in it, he believed it he still does. At one hearing he wanted to plea not guilty, instead he was given more time to think about this.
His confession wasn’t good enough to convict him because at least 6 months after his arrest, his lawyer coerced him into confessing to all state charges. This was done so that Bryce could accept a plea agreement of 30 years. My son was told this is a Capital Murder, Bryce feared a jury would give him life or death. He waived his right to appeal.
The charges were that he intentionally and knowingly caused the death of the victim by shooting him and that he did this with an accomplice named Nicholas. Bryce was told that there was no evidence to suggest anyone else could have done this. On July 16, 2010 my son was convicted. At this time in a convincing manner Bryce continued to repeat what he was told and as if it had originated with him.
The Police report shows that inside the victims home a blood splattered t-shirt was found upstairs in the master bathroom. An Aztec America known to be worn by the victims own son. In the attic officers found unsecured weapons. The victim's wife had blood on her hands, arms and night shirt. She told police that after hearing gunshots she came downstairs to see
what happened. She saw the back door was open, so she shut and locked it and went back upstairs in fear of her life. She told the police that Bryce was her sons only friend.
She stated that both her sons were asleep in the bed with her. An officer asked her youngest son if it was common for his brother to sleep with him and his mom, he said NO. She told the police that Bryce was her sons only friend. During this time she was working as a Speech Pathologist for children with special needs. She told my son she was a Nurse.
Several of the many officers at this home went to Bryce's father’s house. The technician with them gather black clothing items from different parts of the house, including a mask and gloves which had nothing to do with the crime on December 31st 2009. There was no blood in this house. A shotgun is said to have been found in Bryce’s fathers backyard.
Later at the station a witness tells a detective how the victim's wife was involved. In a divorce she wouldn’t get the house and the money, he said “she wanted both”. Some of the things his witness told was that Nicks mother was supplying Bryce with drugs and alcohol, and that she would sometimes do these with him and give him money. A second witness was not
questioned. This case is based entirely on a confession elicited by police from a minor with a developmental disorder. Nick's word and a shotgun said to have been found in Bryce's father's backyard. Bryce was never given a gun residue test.
The defense hired a forensic psychologist. She was told Bryce was the shooter. Her report found my child to be a child and that he was not culpable. Her findings confirmed his disorders that are covered under State and Federal Laws. Bryce's cognitive deficiencies/developmental disabilities are evident in her tests and evaluations. She noted that years before moving to Texas, professionals in Florida including a Neurologist had diagnosed
Bryce with this genetic disorder. She tells of his well documented history of being successfully treated while in my care and by his same Florida doctor since he was four years old.
Doctor Joann Murphey of Texas, recorded important facts of Bryce’s life since moving to Texas and the care of him. She noted that before his arrest there is over six months of drug and alcohol abuse and that only one of his medications remained, which he stopped taking in 2009.
After Bryce was arrested key personnel for the state case wrote false statements about me as his mother and of my health. In their findings, they wrote false statements about my child's history while living in Texas and in Florida. The Forensic Psychologist for Bryce’s defense documented that their statements are contrary to Bryce’s well documented history of continued progress and success, including what they wrote about me as his mother, is not substantiated.
The forensic psychologist Doctor Joann Murphey of Texas, Found Bryce not culpable of any part in the case against him. Her report was never presented on behalf of my son, I have her report.
Medical Professionals told me that when Bryce arrived at the detention center he was disassociated. He was put on a high dosage of Prozac and 300 mg of trazadone. Bryce remained on these drugs
throughout all the court hearings. During his competency hearing Bryce was zoning in and out. He was prompted by adults to give answers they wanted.
On September 9 2012, Bryce will turn 18 years old. He is scheduled to be transferred into a notorious adult prison. My son does not belong in prison or with adults, he belongs back in my care here in Florida where I have lived since 1996.
I am a mother who is trying to save her son.
*ORIGINAL: *CASE-2010-CR-JUV-003-22a. *Arrest Date-12-31-2009. *Police Report-090979792. SID’s -1128131 - 1187996 - 943202. DOB: 09-09-1994.
+ NEW NUMBERS: County Changes- CASE-2010-CR-5794B.
- New arrest date- 05-26-2010.
Offense: F1- Murder-First Degree- 09990019. Sid-08508535. TDC-01661857. DOCKET-A 12533 / a3840. Internal Agency Person Number-943292.
+FALSE: Habitual/Repeat Offender was added to this case. Bryce has never been in trouble with the law before 12-31-2009. He has no criminal history in Florida and or Texas before this. Current Location: Clemens Unit YOP Courage Program. 11034 hwy 36, Brazoria, TX. 77422. ADULT Transfer scheduled on Sept 9th 2012 when he will turn 18 years old.
All fallacies against myself and my son have originated after he moved to Texas in 2007. Basically I was being discredited.
My rights have been violated before, during and after my child's arrest.
12/31/2009 Arrested for the murder of his best friends father.
April 2010 Ruled competent by State Doctor and probation officer/case manager.
05/26/2010 Certified as an adult.
June 2010 Attorney has Bryce confess to all states charges for plea deal.
July 16 2010 Sentenced- plea agreement-30 years-no right to appeal.
He was still just 15 years old.
The two court reporters Holly Dietert and Candy Zavaoa continue to deny me copies of the court transcripts. What's in the case files is not what happened.
In 2010 while in Texas, I reported Bryce's father and other adults to DFPS. In return the counties CPS wrote false statements about my ability to care for my child.
According to our laws there was/is enough substantial, compelling and circumstantial evidence to have arrested the victims wife Grace and Bryce’s father.
Bryce met Nick and his mother in May 2009. The Vandergrift and Cantu homes are in walking distance.
Mr. Lamar D. Elliott, LSW/LCSW a clinical practitioner was the social worker for the Cantu Family. He told the victims wife that that her son Nicholas had violent tendencies towards his father and to take this warning serious. After receiving a Grand Jury Summons, Mr. Elliott turned over his records to the District Attorney's office.
The defense attorney also hired a forensic psychiatrist whose report was not used. The lawyer refuses me my copy of this report. I believe Doctor Joann Murphey has her copy.
In the year 2008 Bryce’s stepmother moved out of the home she and David had purchased mid 2003. In February 2009 Patricia R Vandergrift filed for a divorced. The divorce was finalized On June 26, 2009. CASE-2009-CI-02457. Recently Patricia sold her share of their house to David L. Vandergrift. David also owns a home in Saint Augustine Florida that was left to him when his mother died. She left him some lots of land in another state also.
In July, 2009 NISD, Northside Independent School District had informed David that Bryce did not meet the state required task test in math and reading. He had failed 3 of 3 tries in reading and 2 of 3 tries in math. Their recommendation was that our minor son be retained in the 8th grade. Bryce’s father disagreed with the school committee and wanted them to promoted our son to the 9th grade. In August 2009 during a meeting the committee now agreed with David, including the removal of all the accommodations for Bryce’s learning disabilities. The IEP, Independent Education Program is for students with special needs. Our child's IEP has been in place since he was in Kindergarten. This was removed, I was never contacted.
The Probation officer/case manager wrote that academically my son is average to above average. This is what the detention centers academic testing reflects. My minor-child has never scored this high in all areas and all at once. For this test he was given the answers.
His well documented educational history is his proof.
The autopsy reports these painkiller drugs were in the victim’s blood.
1. Acetaminophen, 2. Naproxen, 3. Hydrocodone/Vicodin, and
4. Hydromorphone/ a derivative of morphine.
Bird-shot pellets and wadding were recovered, one cannot match these items to any particular shotgun. The weapon supposedly found near Bryce's father David Vandergrift's house, is NOT the murder weapon.
Several of Nick and Bryce’s friends said that Nick had wanted his father dead long before he met my son and that he had solicited others to kill his father.
Nicholas Daniel Cantu, Bio son to the deceased. Co-Defendant/TDC 0165880 /Public defense Attorney James S. Wheat #785225. Nick plead no contest and was named an assessor. He accepted a Plea Agreement of 30 years and his testimony against Bryce should this case ever go to trial. Nick is allowed to appeal.
Both youths were tried separately in front of a newly appointed (Oct 2009) Judge. The Honorable Judge was appointed to preside over the reopening of the Juvenile court
The courtroom is in the same building as the Juvenile Offenders Detention Center. Two prosecutors attended these hearings. In July 2010 she hosted the Christmas in July event. It was election year and she was campaigning. This was her first murder case/ruling.
After my minor son's arrest I asked him about this crime. Bryce did not know what he did or if he had shot the victim. He has important details about the crime scene WRONG. What he thinks he did is contrary to what is in the police report.
Bryce’s history is his proof that while on his daily medications, therapy as needed and his school assistance in place for his Learning Disabilities, This Minor-Child was doing GREAT!
Before his arrest my child was diagnosed with Bipolar, while in prison at the age of 16 Bryce was again diagnosed with this disorder. On his medications he was fine.
+ Fred Cantu Jr.+ 06-1970 to 01-2010. Rest In Peace. Much Respect. NAVY VETERAN +
There's More to this story.
Medical, Mental, Educational and Social History are Well Documented. Available upon request to include the case against him. Thank You for reading my and my sons story.
please contact me via leave comments. thanks!
ms.dmmpelletier Bryce's Mother
resident of FL since 01/1996. I have never lived in TX, except for when I was trying to help him, four months after my child was arrested. And I was in Air Force basic training, Lackland AFB TX.
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June 2012 they put him in solitary confinement because of the pictures he and his new cell mater drew. He spent at least 7 days in the hole. In the end he preferred this confinement because he was safer, he avoided 2 riots that broke out, and he was able to sleep a lot.
David L Vandergrift, Bryce's father, paid the lawyer.