Suspects in Pasadena clerk killing appear in court

PASADENA, TX The clerk was shot early Saturday at a gas station off Beltway 8 and San Augustine early Saturday morning. The alleged gunman has been identified as Daniel J. Stiner, 22, from Conroe (pictured above left). He turned himself in to Pasadena police. Michael Ray Morris, 29, of Pasadena (pictured above right), was arrested just three blocks from the crime scene.

Morris, the alleged accomplice returned to the crime scene Christmas night after our story aired and told a KTRK photographer he was a customer and had nothing to do with the shooting.

"That particular twist is probably more unique than the blitz robbery itself," said Pasadena Police Chief Bud Corbett.

The photographer told Morris he was a person of interest and should contact police. As he drove away, an Eyewitness News reporter was able to get the make, model and license plate of his vehicle.

Pasadena police say her tip lead to Morris' arrest.

"One of the two got the plate number and checked with apparently station management, who suggested that they turn the information over to police, which they did and the detectives followed up on that license, registration," said Corbett.

Morris was arrested at an apartment complex in Pasadena. Investigators say he denies any involvement in the robbery.

The store clerk, 22-year-old Jayachandra Elaprolu, was shot five times and died inside the store where he had worked for just a few weeks. Seasoned police investigators say it was one of the most violent robberies they've ever seen.

"The shooter indicated that he was scared at the time and that's the explanation that he offered for having shot the victim," said Corbett.

Through talking to Morris, police say they were able to identify Stiner and talked him into turning himself in.

Detectives have recovered the cash register and are attempting to retrieve the shooter's mask and gun. Both Stiner and Morris are being charged with capital murder. They were moved from the Pasadena Police Department to the Harris County Jail.

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