Attorneys for an Army sergeant recently sentenced in Texas for the deadly shooting of an assault rifle-wielding Black Lives Matter protester have filed a petition for his pardon after they say he did not receive a fair trial in a clear case of self-defense.
The petition to pardon Daniel Perry was filed last week, his defense attorneys said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The petition argues that Perry did not receive a fair trial and that the victim, Garrett Foster, an Air Force vet, illegally possessed an AK-47 rifle and was prohibited from carrying the weapon. They also are seeking a new trial based partly on what they say was improper jury behavior during trial and deliberations, a request that had been previously denied.
His attorneys didn’t immediately return an email seeking further information about the petition.
Working an Uber shift, Perry approached protesters blocking a road and drove into the crowd at a BLM rally in Austin, Texas, on July 25, 2020. He shot Foster, 28, after he claimed Foster pointed the AK-47 at him, firing his pistol in self-defense. He was indicted by a grand jury on July 16, 2021, and was found guilty of the murder on April 8 of this year.
At his trial, prosecutors argued the killing was premeditated and presented evidence they claimed showed he harbored violent attitudes toward “rioting” and people he called “looters.” His defense attorney said the posts were taken out of context and were protected by the First Amendment. The lead police investigator also testified that he didn’t arrest Perry the night of the shooting due to the possibility of self-defense. Despite that, Perry was sentenced to 25 years in prison in May.
The case prompted outrage, with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Tweeting on April 8 that he is “working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sgt. Perry,” citing Texas’ ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense.
Perry’s attorney Clinton Broden called the conviction a “political prosecution” and vowed to “fully cooperate in the pardon process,” the Associated Press reported.
The Board of Pardons and Paroles said in an email to Law&Crime on Tuesday the pardon investigation remains ongoing and had no further comment.
Foster’s sister Anna Mayo said at the time she was shocked over Abbott’s tweet.
“The jury ultimately came to a decision, and it was unanimous,” she told Austin’s ABC affiliate KVUE. “That shouldn’t be disrespected.”
Foster’s mother told CBS Texas that her son had been pushing his fiancee, a quadruple amputee who lost her limbs after an infection turned septic, in a wheelchair through the streets during the demonstration after 50 days of protesting police brutality following the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
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