Man convicted of killing Texas officer found dead in cell

Empty Jail Cell
Posted at 7:39 AM, Nov 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 08:39:13-04

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A 33-year-old man sentenced to death in the 2012 fatal shooting of an Austin police officer at a Wal-Mart has been found dead in his cell, officials said.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said authorities are investigating the death of Brandon Daniel, who was found dead Saturday. Officials say foul play doesn’t appear to be the cause.

Daniel, a former software engineer, was convicted of capital murder in 2014 in the fatal shooting two years earlier of Officer Jaime Padron during a disturbance and shoplifting call. Padron had been responding to complaints from store employees about a shoplifter who was possibly intoxicated.

TDCJ spokesman Robert Hurst said that at 4:25 a.m. Saturday, a correctional officer at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston was doing security rounds when he found Daniel unresponsive on his bunk. He said officers who entered the cell found that Daniel wasn’t breathing.

Hurst said medics arrived at the bunk a short time later, but Daniel was pronounced dead at 5:10 a.m.

As with all deaths of a person in prison not under a doctor’s care, the Office of Inspector General is investigating and an autopsy will be performed.

An execution date had not been set for Daniel.