Gayland Charles Bradford, 42, was executed by lethal injection on 1 June 2011 in Huntsville, Texas for the robbery and murder of a store employee.
On 29 December 1988, Bradford, then 20, entered a Dallas grocery store with Vandron Seymore, 21. Bradford pulled a pistol from his waistband and shot security guard Brian Williams, 29, in the back. Next, he turned the gun toward a clerk, who ran behind some displays. He then fired three more times at Williams. Bradford was attempting to open the cash register when he yelled at Seymore to take Williams' money. Seymore took seven dollars and some personal items from Williams. They then left the store together without taking anything else. Williams died in the hospital about an hour later.
Bradford was arrested on 3 January 1989. Police found three guns, crack cocaine, and marijuana in his home. He gave police a voluntary statement. At his trial, he testified that he went to the store with the intent of committing a robbery. He said that his gun went off unintentionally, however, and then he kept shooting at Williams in self-defense, because Williams was reaching for a gun.
The prosecution's main evidence was the recording of the shooting and robbery made by the store's security camera, which showed Bradford shooting Williams in the back without warning.
Bradford's girlfriend also testified that just before the killing, Bradford showed her a gun and said he was leaving their apartment to "make some money".
Bradford's criminal history began in 1984, at age 15, when he entered a sleeping woman's home and asked her to let him get in bed with her. In early 1986, he was placed on 4 years' probation for burglarizing a school building. That April, he used a knife to commit aggravated robbery. His probation for the burglary sentence was revoked, and he was also given a 2-year prison sentence for the robbery conviction. He was in prison from July 1986 until April 1988, when he was released on parole.
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