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Jury Hears Testimony To Put Brandon Daniel To Death

Updated: Monday, February 24 2014, 12:14 PM CST

Travis County prosecutors began to build their case this morning for jurors to give the death penalty to convicted murderer Brandon Daniel.

On Friday the jury found him guilty of killing Austin police officer Jaime Padron in May 2012 in a North Austin Walmart.

The sentencing phase of the trial started today with opening statements from the prosecution and defense.

Assistant District Attorney Gary Cobb said the case will show why Daniel should be put to death. He highlighted that Daniel has plans to profit on being a "cop killer" by selling his belonging on the Internet.

Defense attorney Brad Urrutia said Daniel attempted suicide when he was 11 years old and revealed he tried again when he was in jail. He said he is now on the right medication and doing better. 

Urrutia also told the jury Daniel is a bright, intelligent guy who helped people but he began using drugs and alcohol in middle school. 

The first witness the prosecution called was police officer Corey Knop. He transported Daniel to jail after the shooting but he also arrested him two months early for DWI. At that time, Daniel denied taking medication. Dash cam video of the arrest showed Daniel being cooperative. He asked Knop several times if he could help him. Knop said he was sorry but there was nothing he could do.

Detective Roy Rector testified about images recovered from Daniel's computer. It shows a man's arm with a tattoo holding a gun.

Read our trial coverage.

Jury Hears Testimony To Put Brandon Daniel To Death

Fallen Austin Officers

Amy Donovan

Amy Donovan, 37, Oct. 31, 2004
Officer Donovan was chasing a suspect on foot in East Austin. Her partner put the patrol car in reverse and tried to block the man's escape route. During the chase, the patrol car struck Donovan and pinned her next to a utility pole. Donovan had been a police officer for five months. She was survived by a husband and four children.

Clinton Hunter

Clinton Hunter, 22, Nov. 29, 2001
Officer Hunter was on the I-35 access road near Onion Creek waiting to deploy a stinger, a device used to puncture and flatten tires, to stop car during a chase. The car hit and killed Hunter. He had been an officer for 14 months. Hunter is survived by a wife and two children.

Drew Alan Bolin

Drew Alan Bolin, 25, June 2, 1995
Officer Bolin was directing traffic at an accident site on I-35 when a drunk driver hit and killed him. Bolin had been an officer for five months. He was survived by his parents and fiancee.

Robert Martinez Jr.

Robert Martinez Jr., 26, February 25, 1989
Officer Robert Martinez Jr. died when his patrol car struck a tree. Martinez, who was en route to assist another officer, swerved to avoid a pick up truck that had pulled into his path.

Lee Smith

Lee Smith, 28, December 15, 1979
Officer Smith was chasing a suspect on MoPac when he lost control of his motorcycle. He died from his injuries several months later.

Ralph A. Ablanedo

Ralph A. Ablanedo, 26, May 18, 1978
Officer Ablanedo was shot to death during a traffic stop. The passenger in the car, David Lee Powell, had a warrant for his arrest. He shot Ablanedo with an AK-47. Powell was executed for the murder in 2010.

Read the entire list here.


Austin Police Department Stories

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