Brandon Bernard victims begged 'Jesus loves you' before they were shot in head and set alight in 'senseless act of evil’

THE victims of death row killer Brandon Bernard pleaded "Jesus loves you" before they were shot in the head and burned in a car.

Bernard — who was executed last night — doused Todd and Stacie Bagley in lighter fluid and set them alight in a "senseless act of unnecessary evil".

Stacie was still alive when the vehicle was torched at Fort Hood military base in Texas in 1999.

The couple — both youth church ministers — had been driven around for six hours in the trunk of their car by a gang of teenage robbers.

"While locked in the trunk, the couple spoke with their abductors about God and pleaded for their lives," according to Department of Justice papers.

The gang finally stopped on the Fort Hood military reservation, where Bernard, 18, and another bandit doused the car with lighter fluid.

The victims, still locked in the trunk, sang and prayed.

Stacie called out to the robbers: “Jesus loves you,” and “Jesus, take care of us.”

Then one of the gang shot both Todd and Stacie in the head.

Todd was killed by the shot but Stacie was still breathing when Bernard set the car on fire, killing her through smoke inhalation.

Todd Bagley had been stationed at Fort Hood, where he and Stacie worshipped at Grace Christian Church and worked with the youth group.

They moved to Iowa to work as church ministers, and returned to visit friends in Killen, Texas.

On June 21, 1999, the couple attended a church service and had lunch with friends.

When they stopped at a convenience store to use a payphone they were approached by gang members Christopher Vialva, Christopher Lewis and Tony Sparks.

Todd agreed to give a them a ride, and they pulled a gun and forced the couple into the trunk of their car.

The gang drove around for hours while attempting to steal the couple's money and pawn Stacie’s wedding ring.

The Bagleys pleaded with Lewis and Sparks through the rear panel of the car while they were in the trunk.

Lewis later testified that the Bagleys asked them questions about God, Jesus and church.

Vialva declared that the victims had to die because they had seen his face, the trial heard.


Bernard and Vialva were convicted of double murder along with the three other robbers in June 2000.

Numerous appeals were rejected by courts over the next two decades.

The DoJ called the murders "especially heinous" when Attorney General Bill Barr ordered Bernard's execution in October.

Kim Kardashian led a high-profile campaign to spare his life and she even appealed to Donald Trump to commute the sentence.

But he was put to death by lethal injection last night at a prison in Terre Haute, Indiana — the ninth federal execution this year.

Co-defendant Christopher Vialva was also executed by lethal injection on September 22.

Bernard's last words were addressed to the families of his victims.

He told them: "I'm sorry."

"That’s the only words that I can say that completely capture how I feel now and how I felt that day."

Todd's mother Georgia welcomed his death as "justice served" last night.

She said: "This senseless act of unnecessary evil was premeditated and had many opportunities to be stopped at any time during a nine-hour period.

"This was torture, as they pleaded for their lives from the trunk of their own car.

"Please remember that the lives of family and friends were shattered and we all have grieved for 21 years waiting for justice to be served."

Dana Ladd, Stacie Bagley's stepsister, blasted reality TV star Kardashian, who had gushed that Bernard was "an amazing person".

"I want her to think about if it was one of her children that Bernard did that to — would she feel differently? It's easy for people to say things when they don't have similar experiences," she told TMZ.


Kim K mourned Bernard's death in a series of tweets in the minutes after the lethal injection.

"I’m so messed up right now. They killed Brandon," she said.

"He was such a reformed person. So hopeful and positive until the end.

"More importantly he is sorry, so sorry for the hurt and pain he has caused others."

Earlier in the day, the reality star tweeted a desperate plea to Trump, asking the president to intervene and save the black man's life.

The reality TV star revealed that she had "been crying all morning" about his death sentence.

"Brandon Bernard will be executed in 5 hours and all I can think about is his family and children and how they will feel when their loved one is gone," she tweeted.

Kardashian also revealed heartbreaking details from her final conversation with Bernard hours before his execution – a chat she described as the "hardest call I've ever had".

At one point, she said she muted the call because she didn't want him to hear her "cry like that" after he said not to because "our fight is not over".

"We didn't say goodbye because we wanted to be hopeful that we would talk again, we said talk to you soon!" she said.

Her sister Kendall Jenner tweeted that it "broke her heart" to learn of the details of her last call with the killer.

Kim, who has secured the release of nearly two dozen prisoners, joined the campaign for Bernard and urged her 67.9million Twitter followers to support a petition.

She vowed to campaign non-stop during the 24 hours ahead of Bernard's scheduled date with death at the US penitentiary.

Yesterday she called on the president to commute his death sentence to allow him to spend the rest of his day behind bars, claiming his role in the shocking crime was "minor."

Bernard's execution was the ninth carried out by the federal government in 2020.

It overturned more than a century of custom that executions are halted during the presidential transition period.

President Trump is reported to want to fast track "dozens more" executions in his final weeks in office.


Source: Read Full Article