Travis County District Attorney José Garza is accused of tampering with evidence in his case against an Army sergeant who was convicted for the murder of a BLM protester after pleading self-defense.
Daniel Perry's case has drawn the attention of Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who said he supports a review of the case by the state's pardon board and will sign a pardon based on their approval.
‘Soros-Backed’ Texas DA Accused of Evidence Tampering, Witness Retaliation in Army Sgt. Self-Defense Murder Case https://t.co/5bOnu9zfIA
— Fred Johnson (@FredJoh26842729) April 14, 2023
“As the Board will no doubt learn, the lead detective in this case was forbidden by the Travis County District Attorney from mentioning a great deal of exculpatory evidence to the grand jury which considered the case in the first instance,” the attorneys wrote.
While acknowledging the DA is not required to present exculpatory evidence to the grand jury, the defense team added, “there is a very clear legal distinction between choosing not to present exculpatory information to a grand jury and tampering with the testimony of a grand jury witness by shaping that witness’s testimony as to what that witness is allowed to say under fear of reprisals.”
On Sunday, Travis County District Attorney José Garza responded to Gov. Abbott's move to pardon Daniel Perry, saying, "A jury gets to decide whether a defendant is guilty or innocent – not the governor" https://t.co/rRnxfgcPhu
— KVUE News (@KVUE) April 9, 2023
“Texas has one of the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney,” Abbott said.
“Unlike the President or some other states, the Texas Constitution limits the Governor’s pardon authority to only act on a recommendation by the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Texas law DOES allow the Governor to request the Board of Pardons and Paroles to determine if a person should be granted a pardon. I have made that request and instructed the Board to expedite its review," he added.
I am working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sgt. Perry. pic.twitter.com/HydwdzneMU
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 8, 2023
“Additionally, I have already prioritized reining in rogue District Attorneys, and the Texas Legislature is working on laws to achieve that goal,” Abbott continued.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton added that he agrees with the governor on the issue, supporting the review that could pardon the military member.
The concerns over alleged evidence tampering have also led to calls for Garza to resign.
The controversial case involving both a BLM protest and self-defense laws has led to a volatile situation in the Lone Star state.
The trial may be over but the case is certainly from being finished as the state reviews the decision and considers a pardon for Perry.