Army Sgt. Daniel Perry was convicted of murder April 7, 2023, for fatally shooting an armed Air Force veteran who was taking part in a protest in Austin, Texas, in 2020.

Army Sgt. Daniel Perry was convicted of murder April 7, 2023, for fatally shooting an armed Air Force veteran who was taking part in a protest in Austin, Texas, in 2020. (Austin Police Department via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas — A judge on Wednesday rejected a request from Army Sgt. Daniel Perry for a new trial because of alleged jury misconduct and scheduled the soldier’s sentencing for his murder conviction.

Perry, 36, was convicted of murder April 7 in the shooting death of Garrett Foster on July 25, 2020. Foster, a 28-year-old Air Force veteran, was carrying an assault rifle in downtown Austin during a Black Lives Matter protest, when Perry, who was working a side job as a ride-share driver, turned his car into a group of protesters. Perry, who was also armed, said he shot Foster because Foster pointed his rifle at Perry’s car.

Attorneys for Perry alleged there was outside influence on the jury because one juror said another brought in printed copies of online research about the case that the juror did outside of the trial.

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday announced Judge Cliff Brown’s decision to uphold the conviction. Brown scheduled a sentence hearing for Perry to begin Tuesday.

“Our office continues to stand by the jury’s unanimous decision to convict Daniel Perry for the murder of Garrett Foster,” Travis County District Attorney José Garza said. “We look forward to Mr. Perry’s sentencing on Tuesday so that the family of Mr. Foster may continue to heal.”

Perry’s attorney Doug O’Connell declined Wednesday to comment about the judge’s decision to deny a new trial for the soldier.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has said it is already reviewing Perry’s case to present the board’s recommendation to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for a possible pardon.

Abbott posted on social media less than 24 hours after Perry’s conviction that he intends to pardon the soldier because the governor believes the jury’s verdict contradicts the state’s 'Stand Your Ground' laws of self-defense.

Perry was assigned to Fort Hood, which is about an hour’s drive north of Austin, at the time of the shooting. He has since been reassigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 11th Airborne Division at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. The unit has begun to discharge Perry from the Army, service officials have said.

In preparation for Perry’s sentencing, Garza’s office unsealed evidence in the case, which included dozens of pages of the soldier’s text messages, online chats and social media posts. They include Perry sharing racist memes and bigoted conversations with others identified as soldiers, as well as Perry chatting with teenage girls younger than 18, discussing an arrest for public drunkenness, and filing a police report for striking a pedestrian with his vehicle.

The only previous arrest that appeared in a public background search of Perry was a 2005 family violence charge that happened before his military service. He pleaded no contest and served probation.

The Army said April 24 that it had not decided how to move forward with the evidence.

“The Army has received the evidence released by the Travis County District Court and is reviewing it to determine appropriate next steps,” said Bryce Dubee, a service spokesman.

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Rose L. Thayer is based in Austin, Texas, and she has been covering the western region of the continental U.S. for Stars and Stripes since 2018. Before that she was a reporter for Killeen Daily Herald and a freelance journalist for publications including The Alcalde, Texas Highways and the Austin American-Statesman. She is the spouse of an Army veteran and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism. Her awards include a 2021 Society of Professional Journalists Washington Dateline Award and an Honorable Mention from the Military Reporters and Editors Association for her coverage of crime at Fort Hood.

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