AN Army soldier who shot and killed an armed Black Lives Matter protester during a demonstration last summer has been indicted on murder charges.
Sgt. Daniel Perry, who was stationed at Fort Hood, has also been charged with aggravated assault and deadly conduct in the July 25 death of Garrett Foster in Austin, Texas.
Sgt. Daniel Perry has been charged with murder, aggravated assault and deadly conductCredit: AP
The charges stem from the July 2020 shooting of Air Force veteran Garrett Foster (seen left with his fiancee)Credit: Facebook
Perry turned himself in to the Travis County Jail on Thursday afternoon and was released 15 minutes later on $300,000 bail.
His attorney said Perry was defending himself when he shot Foster, an Air Force veteran, and expressed disappointment that his client was charged.
“Sgt. Perry again simply asks that anybody who might want to engage in a hindsight review of this incident picture themselves trapped in a car as a masked stranger raises an AK-47 in their direction and reflect upon what they might have done if faced with the split-second decision he faced,” attorney Clint Broden said on Thursday.
Perry was working as an Uber driver on the night of the shooting.
He had just dropped off a customer when he turned onto a street blocked by a group of Black Lives Matter protesters demonstrating against police brutality.
He stopped his car, honked, and seconds later, police said Perry drove his car towards the crowd.
Perry was a Sergeant stationed at Fort Hood, in Texas. He was working as an Uber driver on the night of the shootingCredit: Twitter
Foster, meanwhile, was demonstrating against police brutality with his fiancee Whitney Mitchell, a quadruple amputeeCredit: Facebook
Foster was shot shorltly after approaching Perry’s car with his AK-47 rifle drawn. It’s contested whether or not ever ever pointed the weapon at PerryCredit: 4Chan
Foster’s fiancée — Whitney Mitchell, a quadruple amputee who uses a wheelchair — was in the crowd close to Foster.
Demonstrators, including Foster, surrounded the car. The 28-year-old was carrying an AK-47 rifle, which is legal under the state’s open-carry laws.
Police have said Foster approached Perry’s car and Perry drew his own weapon, fatally wounding Foster before driving away and calling 911.
A key discrepancy in the case is whether or not Foster raised his weapon at Perry before the fatal shots rang out.
Perry’s attorneys have contested that Foster did, and Perry reacted in self-defense.
A number of witnesses, meanwhile, have contested that he never pointed the rifle, keeping the barrel pointed down towards the ground.
Foster regularly accompanied his fiancee to protests, friends saidCredit: Facebook
The Air Force veteran was 28 when he diedCredit: Facebook
Perry was arrested in the aftermath of the shooting and then released without charges pending an investigation.
His attorneys say that the protesters that surrounded Perry had hit and kicked his vehicle, and Foster approached him and motioned with his gun for Perry to lower his window.
Believing him to be law enforcement he complied, they say, but when Foster allegedly realized he wasn’t a cop and fired in “self-defense.”
“It is important to note that the standard of proof required for an indictment is significantly less than the standard of proof required for a conviction,” Perry’s attorney Clint Broden said in a statement.
Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza said in a press conference on Thursday that the grand jury reviewed evidence from two separate investigations to return the indictments against Perry.
They reviewed over 150 exhibits of evidence and interviewed 22 witnesses.
Garza said Perry declined to testify before the grand jury, but that Perry’s attorney did provide a packet with information, which was shared with the grand jury with the exception of details not admissible in a trial.
“In this case, we were particularly presented with an extensive collection of evidence for the grand jury’s consideration,” Garza said.
Garza said his office planned to request that Perry surrender his firearms, in addition to other conditions, for his release.
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