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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Daniel Perry’s attorney released a letter he sent to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles Thursday, following Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s request for the board to review the guilty verdict and the Travis County District Attorney’s response to Abbott’s request.
Perry was found guilty of murder on April 7 in the deadly shooting of an Air Force veteran and Black Lives Matter protester, Garrett Foster, during a racial justice protest in July 2020 in downtown Austin. Foster was armed with a rifle. Perry’s attorneys said the shooting was in self-defense.
Clinton Broden, Perry’s attorney, wrote in the letter Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza prevented the lead detective in the case from “mentioning a great deal of exculpatory evidence to the grand jury,” and calling an indictment in this case “political opportunism.”
“We are prepared to explain to the Board the tortured nature of this case and the political machinations that resulted in the case even being brought to trial,” the letter reads.
The Travis County DA’s Office released a statement to KXAN Thursday, stating the allegations made by Perry’s attorneys “were rejected by the court during this criminal case.”
“The false allegations made by Perry’s defense counsel were previously asserted and rejected by the court during this criminal case. It is misleading for defense counsel to continue to reiterate such allegations when the court has ruled that they are unfounded and untrue. The District Attorney’s Office continues to request an opportunity to present to the Board of Pardons and Paroles the complete facts considered by the judge and jury in this case, along with important information related to public safety. The Office also urges the Board to take the time to hear from the family of Garrett Foster before they present their final recommendation to Governor Abbott.”Travis County District Attorney’s Office statement
The letter states Perry’s attorneys intended to stay out of the review process but believed it was necessary to send the letter after Travis County DA Jose Garza’s letter to the board earlier this week.
Perry — who was in Austin from Killeen driving for Uber to make more money — drove into a crowd of protesters. He told police he was on his phone, looked up and was surrounded by a group kicking and hitting his car, and screaming at him.
Protesters said they reacted to him driving into the crowd. Witnesses said Foster approached Perry’s car, in an attempt to protect other demonstrators.
Perry sped off after shooting Foster five times. Another protester shot at his car as he drove away. Perry pulled over shortly after and called 911. His attorneys argued the shooting was self-defense.
Following the guilty verdict Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott said he was requesting the pardons and parole board to review the case.
“I am working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sgt. Perry,” Abbott said in a tweet Saturday.
In the tweet, Abbott said Texas has one of the strongest “Stand Your Ground” laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles told KXAN this week it “immediately” began the review of the request.
On April 11, Travis County District Attorney José Garza requested an appointment with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles over the review process of a pardon for Daniel Perry.
According to a release from his office, Garza requested an appointment to present evidence considered by jurors in the case, and for the board to hear from the family of Garrett Foster.
On April 11, Perry’s attorneys submitted a motion for a new trial, citing excluded evidence, court documents said.
The Travis County District Attorney’s Office released this statement on the motion to KXAN.
“Our office has full confidence in the guilty verdict reached by the jury in this case. These motions are standard motions filed by the defense following a guilty verdict. We applaud the defense team for making use of the procedural safeguards that are available to defendants in our criminal justice system. However, we continue to stand by the jury’s unanimous decision to convict Daniel Perry for the murder of Garrett Foster.”