Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) plans to pardon U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry for shooting a man that allegedly pointed an AK-47 at him.
Perry, convicted of murdering a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protestor in 2020, Garrett Foster, claimed Foster pointed an AK-47 at him after protestors stopped his car as he attempted to move through them.
A day after being convicted by a Travis County jury in Austin, Texas, Abbott directed the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider pardoning Perry.
After 17 hours of arguments and an eight-day trial, the jury found Perry guilty of murder for killing Foster.
I am working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sgt. Perry. pic.twitter.com/HydwdzneMU
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 8, 2023
The Texas Republican Party called on Abbott to pardon Perry before announcing he would.
On Twitter, Texas GOP Chair Matt Rinaldi said the case against Perry should never have advanced, saying, “A pardon by [Abbott] is in order.
This case should have never been prosecuted. A pardon by @GregAbbott_TX is in order. https://t.co/20AfrWwwav
— Matt Rinaldi (@MattRinaldiTX) April 7, 2023
Before Abbott’s announcement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton criticized Travis County District Attorney José Garza.
“Self-defense is a God-given right, not a crime,” Paxton told Fox News on Saturday morning. “Unfortunately, the Soros-backed DA in Travis County cares more about the radical agenda of dangerous Antifa and BLM mobs than justice.”
“This week has shown us how rogue prosecutors have weaponized the judicial system,” Paxton added. “They must be stopped!”
Paxton’s comments came after the Texas jury ruled against Perry. Following the ruling, Garza released this statement: “I’m grateful to our dedicated career prosecutors and victims’ counselors who tried this case. They worked hard to make a complete and accurate presentation of the facts to the jury.”
“Our hearts continue to break for the Foster family. We hope this verdict brings closure and peace to the victim’s family,” Garza added.
Referencing Paxton’s remarks, Garza said Paxton is currently under federal investigation and that he should focus on his “own legal troubles.”
“The Texas Attorney General is currently under felony indictment and a federal criminal investigation,” he said. “He should focus on his own legal troubles instead of attempting to interfere with the work of a Travis County jury.”
Perry was stationed at Fort Hood at the time of the shooting. He was Uber driving to make extra money in downtown Austin on July 25, 2020, when he encountered a crowd of BLM protesters illegally blocking city streets in Austin.
Foster, a protestor, carried an AK-47. Perry’s lawyers say that the activists encircled his car and pounded on his vehicle, adding that Foster pointed the firearm at Perry, leading him to open fire with a handgun he legally carried for self-defense.
After shooting Foster, Perry drove to a secure location away from the scene and called authorities to report the incident. Police officers spoke with Perry and released him from jail, but a grand jury indicted him for murdering Foster in July 2021. Perry now faces life in prison as he awaits sentencing.