AUSTIN, Texas -- The trial of an accused cop killer begins Tuesday, February 18 in Travis County.
Brandon Daniel is accused of killing APD Senior Officer Jaime Padron in April of 2012. He will now face a jury of his peers nearly two years after the crime that could get him the death penalty.
Daniel pleaded not guilty to the capital murder charge late last year. His attorneys told the court that Daniel offered to take the maximum no-death penalty sentence of life without parole. Prosecutors did not accept that offer.
In April of 2012, Senior Officer Jaime Padron responded to a shoplifting call at a Wal-Mart near Interstate 35 and Parmer Lane. Police say Brandon Daniel took a pistol from his pocket and shot him while the pair struggled on the floor of the store. Daniel's lawyers say he does not have a violent past. His mother told KVUE he was high on Xanax and tequila, and brought the gun to the Wal-Mart because he was distraught over a break-up.
Police chief Art Acevedo keeps a photo of Padron on his desk. He won’t be sitting in on the trial, and he's asked his officers that choose to go not to wear a uniform.
Senior officer Padron served with the Austin Police Department for three years. He spent the14 years prior with the San Angelo Police Department, and he was also a Marine Corps veteran. Padron left behind two young daughters.