Travis County DA reacts to Abbott’s call for pardon of Daniel Perry

On Sunday, Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza responded to Gov. Greg Abbott’s call for the pardon of Daniel Perry, who was found guilty Friday for the 2020 murder of a Black Lives Matter protester in Austin.

A jury found Perry guilty of murder after nearly 16 hours of deliberation.

"My experience, Travis County juries take their oath quite seriously," former Assistant District Attorney Rick Cofer told FOX 7 Austin. "I’ve had a lot of people ask me, ‘Rick, did the Daniel Perry jury get it right?’ I don’t think in terms of a right verdict or a wrong verdict, I think you have to respect the process and you have to respect the verdict of the jury."

The state claimed Perry intentionally drove into the crowd of protesters that night and killed Foster. The defense team claimed Perry shot Foster in self-defense.

Cofer said the most compelling evidence was Perry’s social media posts. "They indicated that he had some type of desire to engage in some type of violence with protesters," he said.

Cofer said this case is a great example that anything can happen in a jury trial. "Frequently what seems to be most important to the lawyers ends up not being what a case turns on," he said.

Abbott doesn’t agree with the decision and said he has requested the Board of Pardons and Paroles to determine if Perry should be granted a pardon.

"Texas has one of the strongest ‘Stand your Ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney," Abbott said in a statement Saturday.

In response, Garza said, "A jury gets to decide whether a defendant is guilty or innocent – not the Governor. As this process continues, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office will continue to fight to uphold the rule of law and hold accountable people who commit acts of gun violence in our community."

"There is an animosity between the left and the right and that is certainly playing itself out in a very strong way in the context of a judicial decision-making and jurisprudence in our state as well as in our nation on these matters," constitutional law professor Eddy Carder said.


Perry has 30 days from the date of the judgment being signed to file for a notice of appeal. If the Board of Pardons and Paroles issues a pardon, the attorneys for Perry can file a motion to dismiss the appeal and the pardon would stand.

On Monday morning, Criminal District Judge Clifford Brown will set a date for the sentencing hearing.