A US Army sergeant convicted of murder in the shooting death of an armed protester during a Black Lives Matter march in Texas faces life in prison when his sentencing hearing begins Tuesday
Austin, Texas– A US Army sergeant convicted of murder in the shooting death of an armed protester at a Black Lives Matter march in Texas faces life in prison when his hearing begins Tuesday, despite Gov. Greg Abbott urging the chance pardon the soldier.
Daniel Perry’s prison sentence is expected to last up to two days. State District Judge Clifford Brown, who presided over Perry’s trial, last week denied his request for a new trial.
Perry, who was working as a rideshaper on the night of the shooting, was convicted in April 2020 of the shooting of 28-year-old Garrett Foster, who was legally carrying an AK-47 rifle through downtown Austin during a summer of statewide police killing and rioting racial injustice.
The ruling sparked outrage from prominent conservatives, including former Fox News star Tucker Carlson, who called the shooting an act of self-defense and criticized Abbott on the air after he failed to get on his show.
Abbott, a former judge who hasn’t ruled out a presidential nomination in 2024, tweeted the next day that “Texas has one of the strictest ‘stand your ground’ laws” and that he looks forward to once a pardon on Texas’ recommendation Board to sign Pardons and Paroles lands on his desk.
The panel has already begun what legal experts say is a highly unusual and immediate review of the case at the direction of Abbott, who appointed the panel.
The governor has not said publicly how he came to his conclusion. It’s not clear when the parole board will make a decision in Perry’s case.
Perry served in the military for more than a decade and was stationed at Fort Hood, about 70 miles north of Austin. He had just dropped off a carpool customer when he turned onto a street full of protesters.
Perry said he was trying to get past the crowd blocking the street when Foster pointed a gun at him. Perry said he shot Foster in self-defense. Witnesses said they did not see Foster raise his gun, and prosecutors argued Perry could have driven away without firing.
After the trial, the court unsealed dozens of pages of text messages and social media posts that showed Perry had hostile views on Black Lives Matter protests. In a comment on Facebook a month before the shooting, Perry reportedly wrote: “It’s official that I’m a racist because I don’t approve of people acting like animals in zoos.”