Daniel Earl Reneau, 27, was executed by lethal injection on 13 June in Huntsville, Texas for the robbery and murder of a gas station clerk.
In January 1996, Reneau, then 21, and Jeffery Wood, 22, went to a gas station/convenience store where they were frequent customers. Reneau walked inside, pulled a .22-caliber pistol on the clerk, Kris Lee Keeran, 31, and ordered him to a back room. When Keeran did not move, Reneau shot him once in the face, killing him instantly. Wood then joined Reneau in the store and they stole a safe, a cash box, and a VCR containing a security tape. The safe and cash box contained approximately $11,350 in cash and checks.
Reneau and Wood drove to Wood's parents' house about 65 miles away, where they tried to open the safe with a sledge hammer and a blow torch. When Wood's 16-year-old brother, Jonathan, asked them about the safe, Wood told him about the holdup and shooting and showed him the tape. Wood also ordered Jonathan to destroy the tape with the blow torch.
Based on descriptions of the robbers and their car from witnesses, police tracked down Wood and Reneau and arrested them the next day. They confessed. Wood led police to the murder weapon and they recovered the safe and the charred remains of the security tape.
Reneau's girlfriend, Nadia Mireless, testified at his trial that Reneau and Wood had planned to rob the gas station for two to three weeks and had attempted to enlist the aid of two employees. When the employees refused to help, they decided to proceed with the robbery by themselves.
Reneau did not have any prior felony convictions, but testimony at his trial strongly indicated a criminal past. Mireless and others testified that Reneau and Wood had committed numerous burglaries and stolen numerous firearms. Aaron Toledo, 18, testified that he had been on burglaries with Reneau and Wood in the past and that on the night before Keeran's murder, they came to his home. They told him that they were going to get a lot of money and asked him to participate, but he declined. A convenience store employee testified that she believed Reneau was the person who robbed her at gunpoint about five weeks before Keeran's murder, and Reneau confessed to that robbery. Two employees and one inmate at the Kerr County jail, where Reneau and Wood awaited trial, testified that they overheard Reneau and Wood making plans to escape and discussing that they would probably have to kill someone in the process. While Reneau admitted killing Keeran, he denied all of these other accusations.
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