Daniel Perry: Army Sergeant Convicted of Shooting Black Lives Matter Demonstrator Seeks 10-Year Prison Sentence
Lawyers for a US Army sergeant accused of killing a protester at a Black Lives Matter rally asked a judge on Tuesday to sentence him to 10 years in prison – even as the governor of Texas expressed his intention to pardon him.
Daniel Perry, 35, appeared Tuesday in Travis County District Court in Austin during the penalty phase of his trial, wearing a black and gray striped jail uniform, where several witnesses testified about his name and the impact of the shooting. . He can be sentenced to 5 to 99 years in prison.
The defense asked the judge to sentence him to 10 years, citing his lack of criminal history, psychological problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder, and praise from several military colleagues.
On the other hand, the prosecution requested that he be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison. They noted a stream of racist and inflammatory social media posts Perry wrote before the shooting and the defense’s analysis of his mental illness and state of mind.
“This man is in his black-and-white world and in his mentality a weapon ready to fire against any threat,” the prosecutor said.
The judge said he would reconvene the court at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
The sentencing comes nearly three years after Perry’s fatal shooting of 28-year-old Garrett Foster at a racial justice rally in Austin following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked nationwide protests against police brutality. Perry and Foster are white.
Prosecutors say Perry, who was at Fort Hood, started the deadly encounter on July 25, 2020, when he ran a red light and drove his car into a crowd of protesters. Foster openly drew an assault rifle, approached Perry’s car and motioned to roll down the window, when Perry fatally shot him, prosecutors said.
“I think he was trying to target me,” Perry said in an interview with police after the shooting, according to CNN affiliate KEYE. “I didn’t want to give him a chance to target me, you know.”
Perry’s legal team argued that his actions were justified as self-defense.
He was indicted by a grand jury nearly a year after the murder. In April, a Texas jury found Perry guilty of murder but not guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, while the fatal driving charge is still pending.
Shortly after Perry was sentenced on April 7, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he wanted to grant Perry a pardon and made an unusual request to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles to expedite the process. hearing the case before sentencing.
“Texas has one of the strictest self-defense laws that cannot be overturned by a jury or a progressive district attorney,” the governor said. Statement on Twitter.
The governor can pardon Perry only if the Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends it under Texas law.
“The council will begin this investigation immediately” and will report back to the governor with recommendations when it’s complete, council spokeswoman Rachel Alderete said in response to Abbott’s request. He did not specify the duration of the examination. The board declined to comment further Tuesday, saying the investigation was ongoing.
Whitney Mitchell, Foster’s fiancee, tearfully spoke Tuesday of how her life has changed since his death.
Mitchell is a quadruple amputee and said Foster was her sole caregiver for 11 years, helping her get ready for the day, eat and work as a costume designer. They bought a house together in Austin and she said it was hard to live there without him.
“It’s hard for me to be here every day. “It’s hard to sleep in my bed because it’s not there,” she said. “He was my main carer for 11 years and I had friends who looked after me and for ten years Garrett had to learn to do everything for me and it’s hard because I had to go from being vulnerable to being comfortable.
Forensic psychologist Greg Hupp, who examined Perry twice earlier this year, testified that he had been diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and autism spectrum disorder.
Along with his military experience, Perry had an “us vs. them” mentality where he thought, “I’ll defend myself.” I’m prepared for any imminent attack and anything out there that could be a potential threat,” Hupp said.
During cross-examination, the prosecution noted that military records did not show any of these psychological problems.
New documents reveal racist comments Perry made in connection with Texas governor’s pardon.
Documents related to the case unsealed by a Travis County judge after Perry’s sentencing show that he made racist comments in social media posts and posts over the years.
In a May 2020 Facebook post, weeks before the shooting, Perry told a friend that he “should probably kill a few people” who were rioting outside his apartment.
The documents also include a May 2020 text from Perry that read, “I might go to Dallas to shoot some robbers.” Some posts included “white power” memes.
“It’s a shame we can’t get money to hunt Muslims in Europe,” Perry wrote in a 2019 post.
In a June 1, 2020, social media comment, Perry compared the Black Lives Matter movement to a “zoo full of monkeys throwing their shit,” the document said.
Perry’s attorney, Clint Broden, criticized the release of the documents in a statement to CNN, calling it a political decision by prosecutors.
Broden Foster also said he posted social media posts promoting violence and supporting the riots, many of which cannot be made public due to Texas disclosure rules. Several posts are public, including one praising the 2020 Minneapolis Police Department fire.
CNN has reached out to the mayor’s office for comment on the social media posts. An attorney for the Foster family declined to comment on the unsealed documents.
All news on the site does not represent the views of the site, but we automatically submit this news and translate it through software technology on the site rather than a human editor.