Penalty phase begins in man's capital murder trial

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Associated Press

Posted on February 25, 2014 at 7:32 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 25 at 7:32 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The punishment phase has begun in the capital murder trial of a 26-year-old man found guilty last week of fatally shooting an Austin police officer.

Testimony began Monday for jurors who will decide whether Brandon Daniel should be given the death penalty or instead receive life imprisonment with no opportunity for parole.

The Travis County jury deliberated about an hour before finding him guilty Friday in the killing of officer Jaime Padron (HEYE'-may pah-DRONE').

Employees of a Wal-Mart store called police in April 2012 after seeing Daniel stumble through the aisles. He later acknowledged being under the influence of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.

When Padron approached Daniel, the former software engineer ran. Padron tackled him and the two struggled before Daniel pulled a handgun and shot Padron at close range.

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