WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The Justice Department on Friday scheduled the execution of a man convicted in the 1999 killing of two youth ministers in Texas.

Brandon Bernard, 40, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Dec. 10.

Bernard and his co-defendant, Christopher Vialva, were convicted in the 1999 kidnapping and killing of Todd and Stacie Bagley, an Iowa couple who had stopped to use a payphone in Killeen, Texas.

The couple agreed to give Vialva and two others a ride, authorities said. Vialva pulled out a gun, forced the couple into the trunk and drove around for several hours, stopping at ATMs to withdraw cash and attempting to pawn the woman’s wedding ring, according to prosecutors.

Both the victims were shot in the head and placed in the trunk of their car, which then was set on fire.

Vialva was executed last month at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute.

The resumption of federal executions started July 14, with the execution of former white supremacist Daniel Lewis Lee.

Since then, six others have been put to death and another man, Orlando Hall, is scheduled to be executed next month.

Anti-death penalty groups say President Donald Trump is pushing for executions during the campaign season in a bid to burnish a reputation a law-and-order leader.

Before the resumptions of executions this summer, federal authorities had executed just three prisoners in the previous 56 years.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


  1. Jason says:

    Good to clear out Death Row. Why did Death Take A Holiday for murderers?

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