A Fort Hood Army sergeant surrendered to authorities after a grand jury indicted him for the murder of an armed protester in Texas last summer.
Prosecutors in Travis County presented 22 witnesses and over 150 pieces of evidence during the three-week hearing. On July 1, jurors indicted Sgt. Daniel Perry on charges of murder, deadly conduct and aggravated assault in connection with the shooting death of Air Force veteran Garrett Foster, 28.
Perry was released on $300,000 bail around 15 minutes after turning himself into the Travis County Jail the same day.
On July 25, 2020, Foster was participating in a protest in downtown Austin. As he marched, he legally carried an assault-style rifle. Around 9:50 p.m. that evening, Perry was working as an Uber driver and honked before turning his vehicle onto a street crowded with marchers, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Foster, carrying his weapon, approached Perry’s vehicle and Perry, who was also legally armed, drew his own gun and fatally shot Foster, police said. Perry then drove away from the scene and phoned 911. The sergeant has claimed he fired at Foster in self-defense.
The Austin America-Statesman reported the crux of the case revolves around allegedly differing witness statements regarding the question of whether or not the shooting victim raised his gun at Perry before Perry shot him dead.
“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,” defense lawyer Clint Broden said.
“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,” Broden noted, according to The Texas Tribune.