In the latest headline-grabbing development in the case of an Army sergeant convicted last week of murdering a Black Lives Matter protestor in Austin, Texas back in 2020, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has indicated his desire to issue a pardon in the case, as Reuters reports.
Daniel Perry, who also worked part time as an Uber driver, was found guilty of fatally shooting Garrett Foster, who was wielding an AK-47 during unrest that followed the Minneapolis death of George Floyd, despite his claim that he acted in self defense.
As Fox News explains, at the time of the incident, Perry was stationed at Fort Hood and was working for Uber to earn extra cash when, on the night of July 25, 2020, he found himself in Austin amid scored of protesters.
Police noted that at the time in question, demonstrators were unlawfully blocking the city's streets, and a group ultimately surrounded Perry's car and began pounding on it, and that is when Foster allegedly hoisted his weapon at Perry.
Perry claims that his next move – opening fire at Foster with the handgun he carried legally – was done purely out of self-defense.
In the words of defense attorney Doug O'Connell telling Fox News, “When Garret Foster pointed his AK-47 at Daniel Perry, Daniel had two tenths of a second to defend himself. He chose to live.”
Though Perry maneuvered his vehicle away from the crowd following the shooting and called authorities to report what occurred, a year later, he was indicted for murder as well as aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, as Fox News further noted.
Following an eight-day trial in which Perry's self-defense claims were presented and after 17 hours of deliberations, the jury in Perry's case returned guilty verdicts.
That outcome came despite the fact that the lead detective on the case testified that Perry indeed acted in self-defense as well as allegations that the prosecutor, Jose Garza, instructed him to conceal exculpatory evidence during the proceedings.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told Fox News Saturday that the detective “says he believes that the evidence he would've presented to the grand jury would have possibly led them to not even indicting [Perry]” in the first place.
In light of those factors, Abbott took to Twitter to promise a pardon of Perry, which he says he will grant as soon as a parole board request “hits my desk.”
“I will work as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding to pardon of Sgt. Perry,” Abbott said.
The governor continued, “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.”
In the absence of a pardon from Abbott, Perry is facing life imprisonment when he is sentenced this week, making the governor's promise one that carries extraordinarily high stakes.