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Jury Begins Deliberations in Brandon Daniel Murder Trial
Updated: Monday, February 24 2014, 12:13 PM CST
2:20 p.m. UPDATE: After an hour of deliberations the jury found Daniel guilty of capital murder. The punishment phase begins Monday at 9 a.m. He faces life in prison with no parole or death by lethal injection.
UPDATE -- 12:38 P.M.
The fate of Brandon Daniel is now in the hands of the jury. Attorneys from both sides wrapped up closing arguments in the four-day capital murder trial. Prosecutors argued there was no reasonable doubt that Daniel knowingly and willingly killed Officer Jamie Padron at a North Austin Walmart in 2012. Daniel's defense agreed that he murdered Padron but does not deserve the death penalty.
UPDATE -- noon
The prosecution and defense are presenting closing arguments.
UPDATE -- 11:11 A.M.
Following prosecutors' cross-examination of Dr. Masters, the defense has rested. Closing arguments will begin momentarily.
Testimony is underway in the fourth day of the capital murder trial of Brandon Daniel who is accused of killing Officer Jaime Padron at a Walmart in North Austin in April 2012.
The defense called as its first witness this morning Dr. Matthew Masters Jr., a specialist in addiction. Masters testified that Daniels had a toxic level of the prescription drug Xanax in his system seven hours after the shooting.
Daniel pleaded not guilty to murder but his lawyers have so far not contested the fact that he pulled the trigger and fatally shot Padron through the throat when the officer tackled Daniel who was suspected of shoplifting. Jurors were shown surveillance video of the fatal encounter on Tuesday. In footage from the patrol car taking Daniel to jail and from his subsequent interrogations, the former software developer freely admitted to killing Padron, a veteran officer and father of two young daughters.
With little doubt about his role in the shooting, his defense appears to be hedging their bets on the penalty phase of the trial. On Thursday, they called Daniel's ex-girlfriend, Jenna Feland, who described Daniels downward spiral of drug addiction and Xanax abuse after their relationship ended. By convincing jurors that he had no clear understanding of his actions the night he killed Padron, Daniel could potentially avoid the death penalty.
Follow KEYE TV's Alex Boyér who is live-tweeting the trial from inside the courtroom.
Fallen Austin Officers
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, 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, 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., 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, 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, 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.