AUSTIN -- Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg says she has decided to seek the death penalty against Brandon Montgomery Daniel. Police say Daniel fatally shot Austin police Senior Officer Jaime Padron earlier this year.
"I think it's the right thing to do," Lehmberg said Tuesday.
Daniel, 24, is charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting inside a North Austin Walmart on April 6.
"We're in support of the district attorney's decision," said Jaime Padron's sister, Linda Padron Diaz. "When Jaime received that call that night, he answered it. He answered it without hesitation. Without hesitation we, as Jaime's immediate family members, without hesitation we support the district attorney's office when this case goes to trial. It's a good thing for us to know this. It's something that's been very difficult for us to understand how this happened to Jaime. We are in support, wholeheartedly."
According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, there are currently six people in Travis County on death row. Three of them were prosecuted under Lehmberg.
"Nobody is out for blood. What they're out for is justice. The message this sends is they matter and their sacrifice matters," said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo.
Daniel's lawyers say he was using drugs at the time of the shooting and does not have a violent past. Daniel's mother told KVUE he was high on Xanax and tequila and brought a gun to the Walmart because he was distraught over a break-up.
"When people see how this man took that life without any excuse or justification, I really believe he went in there to try to kill a cop. We'll just let the people speak," Acevedo said.
Daniel is held without bond in the Travis County Jail. He is set to appear in court Dec. 3. He could face the death penalty or life in prison.