Family of Austin man killed on Thanksgiving Day 2017 believe plea deal is not justice

Samuel Charlez Jr. was killed on Thanksgiving Day 2017.

4-year-old Aaliyah's mom Desirae says not a day goes by that her daughter doesn't ask about her dad. “When she's upset, that's who she cries for. When she goes to bed that's what she cries about,” she says.

It happened November 23, 2017 in a parking lot off of North Lamar.

According to witness statements in the Austin Police affidavit, friends of Charlez saw him and a friend walk up to a blue SUV. Shots were fired. “Shot my son 3 times and shot the other guy once,” said Samuel’s mother Lisa Charlez.

Samuel died on December 6th of that year.

According to the affidavit, friends and family of Edgar Perez-Gamez say he told them some people in the parking lot flagged him down. He thought he knew them so he drove up to them. Some sort of physical altercation may have taken place and Perez-Gamez allegedly thought one of the men was reaching for a gun. So he opened fire.

Perez-Gamez was later indicted for murder. He claims he was defending himself.

Police say he was on probation for aggravated robbery and has multiple arrests on his record for robbery, assault and evading arrest. “We have our good days and bad days but it's a lot of hurt, a lot of anger, a lot of just different emotions,” Lisa said.  

Lisa Charlez says the family met with Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore this week about the next steps in the case. Desirae says she was there too. “Defense offered a plea of 12 years to manslaughter with a deadly weapon. Manslaughter is pretty much saying that he did it on...accident, it wasn't on purpose,” she said,

“To me, that's not justice,” Lisa said.

Lisa and Desirae are afraid the DA’s office will end up accepting the deal. “Add more years. 12 years is not enough. He would be out in 6 years,” Desirae said. 

Samuel Charlez Sr. wants even more than that for his son's accused killer. “My opinion as a father and a tax-paying citizen here man, he should at least get life where he can at least see his daughter still because my son don't have that opportunity no more,” Charlez Sr. said.

Austin police say Samuel Charlez Junior also has a criminal record, referring to him as a “known narcotics dealer.” “Him and his wife were trying to work things out so he was trying to change his life, he enrolled at ACC, he got a job at Goodwill,” Lisa said. 

Lisa and Desirae are afraid Charlez's record may be playing a part in the plea deal.

“He didn't deserve to die,” Lisa said. “Just because someone has a criminal record in the past doesn't mean that they should be dead,” Desirae said.

The Travis County DA's office tells FOX 7 they review everything.

But criminal history of the victim doesn't factor in to an offer. 

The DA’s office also tells FOX 7 they have weighed the facts in the case and comparing it with recent self-defense cases that have gone to trial over the past year, they are prepared to make an offer and have discussed that offer with the family.

They just can’t go into details about the offer right now.

We did reach out to Perez-Gamez’s attorney but have not heard back as of news time tonight.



Suspect charged in Thanksgiving Day murder