Texas inmate executed for killing security guard

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 01, 2011 9:03 PM

By Ben Wermund

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas on Wednesday executed a man who shot and killed a security guard during a 1988 robbery at a Dallas grocery store.

Gayland Bradford, 42, was the fourth person executed in Texas this year and second put to death using a new drug, pentobarbital, which is often used to euthanize animals.

Bradford died at 6:25 p.m. local time, nine minutes after the drug was administered, said Jason Clark, spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

On December 28, 1988, Bradford told his girlfriend he was going to make some money, showing her a gun before he left her apartment with two other people, according to a report by the Texas attorney general's office.

Later that night, he went to a grocery store and shot store security guard Brian Williams in the back. Bradford then took the guard's gun and shot him repeatedly while he was on the ground, according to the report.

Bradford told an accomplice to take Williams' money, which turned out to be only $7. The accomplice also took personal items from Williams, including his hat and pipe. Williams died about an hour later, the report said.

According to the report, Bradford and the accomplice left without taking anything else. The store's security camera recorded the events and Bradford later confessed he went to the store to "get some money," and that he shot the guard, the report said.

Before his death, Bradford said he was at peace and that he had no worries.

"Victim's family, may you be at peace also," he said.

Bradford's last meal was chicken with jalapenos, peanut butter cake, butter rolls, two steak and cheese omelets, hash browns and ketchup, and a root beer soda.

Bradford's execution was the 20th in the United States this year. There are three more executions scheduled this month in Texas, where more than four times as many people have been executed as any other state since the death penalty was reinstated in the United States in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Greg McCune)