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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Former Army Sergeant Daniel Perry has yet to be sentenced after a jury found him guilty of murder on April 8.

Perry shot and killed 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 — 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.

Daniel Perry’s trial

Perry pleaded not guilty to murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges at the start of his trial on March 28.

Perry’s attorneys shaped their witnesses and evidence around their main argument: Perry was defending himself.

A jury was presented evidence including police body camera footage after the incident, interview footage of Perry in the Austin Police Headquarters interrogation room, 3D renderings of how close Foster was to Perry’s car, 911 calls, cell phone records, witness video, photos and more.

Editor’s note: The above video is from KXAN’s coverage of the Daniel Perry trial.

Over the span of eight days, the jury heard testimony from nearly 40 witnesses: Protesters, Foster’s fiancé, police officers, and the lead detective who investigated the case.

Perry’s defense maintained Perry was in fear for his life. Expert witnesses testified Perry would not have been able to react fast enough, had Foster shot first.

The state revealed social media posts and private conversations Perry had with friends that attorneys said show he had anti-protester feelings. The state argued Perry ultimately provoked the crowd before he killed Foster in downtown Austin.

Six weeks prior to the shooting, private Facebook Messenger messages revealed Perry discussed a similar situation that happened between a driver and protester in Seattle. That conversation would be one of the strongest pieces of evidence the state would use against Perry. The conversation detailed Perry discussing how he would work to get away with the shooting if he were in that situation.

Editor’s note: The above video is from KXAN’s coverage of the Daniel Perry trial.

Jury convicts Daniel Perry

After deliberating for around 15 hours, a diverse group of 12 jurors found Perry guilty of murder on April 8. Perry was found not guilty for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Perry broke down instantly, and began sobbing in the court room after the judge read the verdict.

While his attorney consoled him, Perry’s mother also sobbed in the row behind Perry inside the court room.

There was evident shock from both Perry’s family and the Foster family.

Editor’s note: The above video is from KXAN’s coverage of the Daniel Perry trial.

Legal experts said it is rare for self-defense to not be a successful defense, especially in Texas where the state has some of the strongest “stand-your-ground” laws.

Perry was cuffed immediately, and taken into custody.

Governor Greg Abbott requests case review by parole board

Less than 24 hours after Perry was convicted, Gov. Abbott asked the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to review Perry’s case on April 9.

Abbott made the announcement via Twitter.

“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.

Texas’ pardon process starts with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. The board can submit a pardon recommendation to the governor, who then can approve the pardon.

Abbott said he requested the board request a pardon for Perry and “instructed the Board to expedite its review.”

Editor’s note: The above video is from KXAN’s coverage of the Daniel Perry trial.

This announcement came after Fox News Anchor Tucker Carlson questioned whether Abbott was going to pardon Perry.

Former Travis County Assistant District Attorney Rick Cofer said usually the board brings a case for pardon consideration to the governor, rather than the other way around.

Cofer also said it was unusual to make such a request before due process is complete.

The Board of Pardons and Paroles began its review on April 10.

Editor’s note: The above video is from KXAN’s coverage of the Daniel Perry trial.

“Chairman Gutierrez, the Presiding Officer of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has received a request from Governor Abbott asking for an expedited investigation, along with a recommendation as to a pardon for U.S. Army Sergeant Daniel Perry. The board will be commencing that investigation immediately. Upon completion, the board will report to the governor on the investigation and make recommendations to the governor. “Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles statement.

The board wouldn’t say how long the investigation will take.

Travis County DA reacts, asks for meeting with Board of Pardons and Paroles

There are seven members on the Board of Pardons and Paroles from across the state, all appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate.

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 family of Garrett Foster.

“For as long the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has existed, it has been a cautious steward of the power of clemency in our State,” Garza said. “We look forward to working with the Board to present all evidence necessary for its consideration.”

Daniel Perry’s attorneys file motion for new trial

On afternoon of April 11, Perry’s attorney filed a motion for a new trial on grounds of excluded evidence, court documents said.

The defense team stated in the documents it attempted to introduce evidence to show Foster’s motive, states of mind and intent.

The documents said there were other incidents in which Foster was the first aggressor and would “unlawfully” scare others who he believed might interfere with his objective to “take the streets.”

In a statement, Perry’s attorneys said:

“The focus of the defense team is on the upcoming sentencing hearing and marshaling evidence related to Sgt. Perry’s character and his service to our country as a member of our military for the past 12 years. Daniel was most crushed that his conviction will end his Army service. He loved being a soldier for our country.  Many, many people have reached out to express a desire to speak on Daniel’s behalf. The pardon process, however, is outside our control and we have not been involved in that process.”