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Brandon Bernard, Federal

Brandon Bernard, Federal

December 10, 2020

Brandon Bernard has been executed by the federal government on Thursday, December 10, 2020. Brandon was pronounced dead at 9:27 pm local time, inside the execution chamber at the Terra Haute Federal Correctional Institute in Terra Haute, Indiana. Brandon was 40 years of age. He was convicted and sentenced to death for his part in the murder of Stacie Bagley on June 20, 1999, in Killeen, Texas. Brandon spent the last 20 years of his life on death row in federal prison.

Todd and Stacie Bagley, both church youth ministers from Ottumwa, Iowa, were visiting central Texas in June 1999, when they made a stop at a convenience store in Killeen, Texas, on June 21. Also at the store were Tony Sparks, Christopher Lewis, Christopher Vialva, Brandon Bernard, and Terry Brown, members of a local gang known at 212 PIRU Bloods. They planned to trick a Good Samaritan into giving them a ride before stealing the car at gunpoint.

Sparks, Vialva, and Lewis found Todd outside the store using a payphone, while Brown and Bernard were playing video games at a nearby laundromat. Sparks approached Todd, asking for a ride, and, after conferring with his wife, Todd and Stacie agreed to give the three men a ride. Bernard and Brown observed Sparks Vialva, and Lewis get into the back of Todd and Stacie’s vehicle, before returning home to await further instructions.

Once inside the vehicle and moving, Sparks and Vialva each pulled out a handgun, and pointed them at the couple, ordering Todd to drive to a semi-rural location. Sparks, Vialva, and Lewis robbed Todd and Stacie of their money, wallets, purse, debit card, bank account PIN number, identification, and jewelry, before locking the couple in the trunk of the car. The trio then went to an ATM to withdraw all of Todd and Stacie’s money, however, there was little money in the account. They also attempted to pawn some of the jewelry.

From the trunk of the vehicle, Todd and Stacie sang gospel songs and shared God’s word with their captors. They also begged to be released.

Around 8 pm, Sparks said he needed to go home so as not to violate his probation. Lewis and Vialva dropped Sparks off at his home, along with the jewelry they had not pawned. Lewis and Vialva picked up Bernard and Brown, who had purchased fuel to burn the vehicle.

The four men then drove to Belton Lake Recreation Area on the Fort Hood military installation and parked the car. They then poured lighter fluid on the inside of the vehicle, while Todd and Stacie continued singing from the trunk. Vialva told Lewis to open the trunk. Vialva cursed at Stacie and then shot Todd in the head, killing him instantly. Vialva then shot Stacie in the face, but failed to kill her. Todd and Stacie were left locked in the trunk, then the vehicle was set on fire. Stacie eventually died from smoke inhalation.

Bernard were sentenced to death for his part in the murder of Stacie. Vialva was sentenced to death for the murders of Todd and Stacie. He was executed earlier this year on September 24. The other four participants were given varying prison terms as their ages disqualified them from being sentenced to death.

Pray for peace and healing for the family of Todd and Stacie Bagley. Pray for strength for the family of Brandon Bernard.

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