Daniel Perry was found guilty by a jury in, who was among those demonstrating in Austin during the Black Lives Matter protests.
Conservative leaders have rallied behind Perry, claiming.
ButAbbott’s intentions are causing Garrett Foster’s mother, Sheila Foster, great anguish.
She says the relief she felt when a Travis County jury convicted Perry, apparently culminating a nearly three year search for justice, didn’t last long.
Sheila Foster says Abbott’s words “literally buckled me over. I haven’t left my house. I didn’t do anything on Easter. I’m shaking like a leaf right now. I’m sick to my stomach. I can’t eat anything, and it’s almost like all that weight was lifted in that verdict and now it feels like the biggest hammer in the world is crashing down on me.”
That hammer, she said, came in the form of a tweet by Abbott the day after the verdict saying he was “working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sergeant Perry.”
The tweet goes on to suggest that the actions of Perry, a Fort Hood Army sergeant, should have been justified as self defense.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton posted later that he agreed with the governor.
That’s despite the jury’s unanimous decision, which came after the panelists heard from 40 witnesses and deliberated 15 hours.
“I would honestly ask just anyone, including the governor, if you’re trying to take a side in this deal, at least look at the evidence first,” Sheila Foster said.
The evidence presented during the two week trial showed that both men were legally armed when Perry, who was working as an Uber driver, turned onto a downtown Austin street that was blocked by a crowd of 20 Black Lives Matter protestors in July 2020.
Garrett Foster, who’d been protesting alongside his girlfriend for 50 straight days, approached Perry’s vehicle armed with a rifle.
Perry opened fire, later claiming Foster had raised his weapon, which witnesses denied.
Prosecutors presented some of Perry’s messages and social media comments in the weeks before. Among them: “I might have to kill a few people on my way to work, they are rioting outside my apartment complex” and “I might go to Dallas to shoot looters.”
Foster’s mother and her civil attorney find it inappropriate, to say the least, that the two most powerful men in Texas would interfere in a murder trial that’s still not over.
“The governor is the most powerful elected official in the state of Texas,” said Sheila Foster’s civil attorney, Quentin Brogdon. “Nobody, including the governor of the State of Texas, should shut down the process of the rule of law — and it appears that’s what the intent is here.”
“I just can’t believe it’s happening. I cannot believe this is happening,” said Sheila Foster. “I feel like Garrett was marching for our equality and for our constitutional rights, our First Amendment rights and our Second Amendment rights. … I just feels like it’s weird because he died fighting for those things.”
Sheila Foster will be in the courtroom when the trial resumes Tuesday.
Perry faces a sentence of up to life in prison.