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Capital Murder Trial Begins For Man Accused Of Killing APD Officer

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

Testimony began Tuesday morning in the capital murder trial of a man accused of killing an Austin police officer in 2012.

Just before 2 a.m., security cameras showed Brandon Daniel arriving at the Walmart off Parmer Lane and I-35.

Over the next twenty-six minutes Daniel is captured on camera, staggering throughout the store, dropping produce and other items in the aisle.

Daniel's defense attorney claimed he was upset over a recent breakup.

"He was in an extremely confused, disordered state of mind as a result of the Xanax," said Russ Hunt.

Moments later Austin Senior Police Officer Jaime Padron arrived at the store. He approached Daniel who tried to make a run for the exit. Padron tackled Daniel and both men ended up on the ground.

"Unfortunately I saw when the gun was put to the neck of the officer and he was shot again," said Alma Gutierrez.

Gutierrez was one of several employees who witnessed the shooting.

"I saw blood and knew it was real," said Monica Lawson.

In the afternoon, prosecutors played surveillance video of the shooting.

But perhaps the most chilling piece of testimony came from retail manager Lincoln LeMere who held Daniel down following the fatal shooting.

"He raised his head, chuckled and said I killed a cop," said Lincoln LeMere.

If convicted of capital murder Daniel could face the death penalty.

The trial is expected to take more than a week.

By Alex Boyer

Capital Murder Trial Begins For Man Accused Of Killing APD Officer

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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