Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, said he is “working as swiftly as Texas law allows” to pardon Daniel Perry, who was found guilty of murder on Friday for shooting a Black Lives Matter demonstrator to death in 2020.
On July 25, 2020, in Austin, Texas, Perry, an active-duty U.S. Army sergeant stationed at Fort Hood, was driving for a ride-sharing firm when he entered a street congested with protesters.
When Perry’s car was allegedly surrounded by demonstrators, Garrett Foster, 28, reportedly pushed his fiancee while she was in a wheelchair during the demonstration.
According to investigators, Foster, armed with an AK-47-style weapon, approached Perry’s car and was shot many times. In Texas, open carry is permitted.
According to ABC affiliate KVUE, Perry’s defenders claimed during the trial that he was forced to kill Foster for his safety.
Perry may have driven away before firing, according to the prosecution.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, although witnesses claimed Foster never pointed his weapon at Perry during the trial, Perry reportedly informed police that Foster did. Perry stayed silent during the trial.
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The men are both Caucasian.
Abbott criticized Perry’s conviction by the jury as well as the prosecution of the case by Travis County District Attorney José Garza.
“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 in an online statement.
According to him, the Texas Constitution only permits him to pardon cases the Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends. He claimed he asked the Board of Pardons and Paroles to examine Perry’s case and decide whether or not a pardon should be given.
“Additionally, I have already prioritized reining in rogue district attorneys and the Texas Legislature is working on laws to achieve that goal,” he said.
District Attorney Garza fired back, arguing, “in a state that believes in upholding the importance of the rule of law, the Governor’s statement that he will intervene in the legal proceedings surrounding the death of Garrett Foster is deeply troubling,” he said in a statement sent to ABC News.
Garza continued, “In our legal system, a jury … gets to decide whether a defendant is guilty or innocent – not the Governor.”
Foster’s father Stephen Foster told KVUE News that his family is “happy with the verdict. We’re very sorry for his family as well. There’s no winners in this. Just glad it’s over.”
According to Perry’s lawyer Clint Broden, their attention is on the impending sentence hearing, where they intend to concentrate on Perry’s “character and his service to our country as a member of our military for the past 12 years.”
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