Daniel Perry: Texas Army Sergeant Should Be Sentenced in 2020 for Killing Black Lives Matter Protester



The sentencing hearing of a US Army sergeant convicted of killing a protester at a 2020 Black Lives Matter rally will continue Wednesday morning amid moves by the Texas governor to seek clemency.

On Tuesday, a defense attorney for Daniel Perry, 35, asked a 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.

Prosecutors had asked for a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison, citing a stream of racist and inflammatory social media posts Perry wrote before the shooting and the defense’s analysis of his mental breakdown and state of mind. He can be sentenced to 5 to 99 years in prison.

The verdict comes nearly three years after Perry shot and killed 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.

Perry’s legal team argued that his actions were justified as self-defense. She told police she thought Foster was pointing the gun at her, CNN affiliate KEYE reported.

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.

A number of witnesses spoke Tuesday about Perry’s story and the impact of the shooting.

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.

Prosecutors also cited documents approved by a Travis County judge after Perry’s sentencing that show he made racist comments in social media posts and posts over the years.

Weeks before the shooting, Perry told a friend in a May 2020 Facebook post that he “might kill a few people” who were rioting outside his apartment, according to the documents. And in a June 1, 2020, comment on social media, Perry compared the Black Lives Matter movement to a “zoo full of throwing monkeys,” according to the document.

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.

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.

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