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Capital murder trial under way for Brazil

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Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 12:00 pm

By Lauren Cabral

Killeen Daily Herald

GATESVILLE - The capital murder trial of the second former Fort Hood soldier accused in the 2010 murder of Frank Schreiber is under way.

Travis Vershun Brazil, 22, is accused of killing Schreiber, 22, at his home in the 1000 block of Cove Avenue in Copperas Cove on Jan. 14, 2010. Brandon Christopher Walker, 20, pleaded guilty to the crime Jan. 26 to avoid a jury trial and was sentenced to life in prison.

All three men were Fort Hood soldiers at the time of the slaying.

Wednesday, a tape of the police department's interview with Brazil was shown. He at first denied being in Copperas Cove that night, saying he'd been in Killeen and at Fort Hood. After police revealed that Walker was being questioned in another room and had said Brazil was involved, Brazil said he was lying.

According to the tape, Brazil continued to deny allegations he was involved until police said it would be possible to identify him from video surveillance from Walmart, where Walker said the two had looked at rifles, and from surveillance at an ATM machine in Copperas Cove.

Brazil then told police that Walker, who was in his platoon, had asked him to help steal Schreiber's television set, and he had agreed. He said Walker had told him the house would be empty.

"He is lying about one thing, about me pulling the trigger," Brazil said in the tape. "I didn't pull the trigger."

Brazil said he followed Walker into Schreiber's home, and when Walker began shooting, he ran back to the vehicle.

Also on Wednesday, several members of the Copperas Cove Police Department and the Fire Department testified about responding to the shooting. They said they found Schreiber dead at the scene. Lying in a pool of blood in the hallway, Schreiber had two gunshot wounds in the lower abdomen and upper right shoulder area.

Schreiber's wife, Leila, 22, pregnant at the time, was shot in the upper left torso and taken to Fort Hood's Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. She later recovered and identified Walker as one of the shooters.

Firefighter and paramedic Brandi Wolfe said when she arrived, Leila Schreiber was sitting on the floor in the back bedroom with a gunshot wound to her left hand and shoulder.

"She was upset, she was crying," Wolfe said. "She was pregnant and she was worried about her baby."

Wolfe said Leila Schreiber was also worried about her husband and asked how he was doing.

"I told her other crews were working on him," she said.

Brazil's trial will resume at 9 a.m. today in the Gatesville County Courthouse. Judge Trent D. Farrell is presiding over the trial in 52nd District Court.

Contact Lauren Cabral at lcabral@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7476.

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