On Wednesday, May 3, 2020, a Texas judge denied a request to retry the U.S. Army Sergeant who was convicted of killing a Black Lives Matter protester in a Black Lives Matter March, and scheduled sentencing for Tuesday, may 9. (Austin Police Department, via AP)
AUSTIN (Texas) (AP). A U.S. Army Sergeant convicted of the murder of an armed protester during a Black Lives Matter March in Texas could face up to life imprisonment when his sentencing begins on Tuesday. Greg Abbott is pushing for the opportunity to pardon this soldier.
The sentencing of Daniel Perry could last two days. Perry's request for a retrial was denied by State District Judge Clifford Brown last week.
Perry was convicted of the shooting in 2020 of Garrett Foster, 28, who was legally carrying a AK-47 rifle in downtown Austin. This was during a summer when there was widespread unrest in America over police killings as well as racial injustice.
Former Fox News star Tucker Carlson was among those who were outraged by the verdict. He called the shooting a self-defense act and criticised Abbott on air when he refused to appear on his show.
Abbott, who is a former Texas judge and hasn't ruled out running for president in 2024, tweeted that Texas has "one of the strongest Stand Your Ground" laws and that he was looking forward to signing a Pardon when a recommendation by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles reaches his desk.
On the order of Abbott who appointed the panel, the board has begun what legal professionals describe as a highly untypical and immediate review.
The governor hasn't publicly explained how he arrived at his conclusions. The parole board has not yet decided on Perry's case.
Perry was in the military more than 10 years and stationed about 70 miles north of Austin, at Fort Hood. He was a ride-share car driver on the night of shooting. He had just dropped off his customer and turned into a street full of protesters.
Perry claimed that Foster had pointed a gun at him as he tried to pass the crowd blocking his way. Perry claimed he shot Foster in self defense. Witnesses said they didn't see Foster raise the weapon. Prosecutors argued that Perry should have been able to drive away without firing.
The court revealed dozens of pages after the trial of texts and social media posts showing Perry's hostility towards Black Lives Matter protests. Perry is alleged to have written, in a Facebook comment a month prior to the shooting: 'It's official, I'm a racist. I don't agree with people behaving like animals at the Zoo.'