Daniel Perry sentencing hearing wraps up; judge to make decision May 10
AUSTIN, Texas - Daniel Perry’s sentencing hearing wrapped up Tuesday afternoon. A district judge will read off his sentence Wednesday, May 10.
Last month, Perry was found guilty of murder for killing Black Lives Matter protester Garrett Foster in 2020. Perry faces five to 99 years in prison. Judge Clifford Brown of the 147th Criminal District Court is tasked with deciding how long Perry will spend in prison.
During the sentencing hearing, the defense asked the judge to think about Perry’s lack of criminal history and 10 years of military service. The defense asked the judge to consider a sentence of 10 years in prison for Perry.
The state asked the judge to consider the damage and harm Perry caused to Foster’s family and friends. The state also reminded the judge that a jury found Perry guilty for a reason. They asked the judge to consider a sentence beginning at 25 years in prison.
MORE: Unsealed court documents reveal Perry's racist, anti-protester messages
The state called Foster’s wife Whitney Mitchell is the stand. She expressed just how hard life has been without her husband.
"It's just hard every day that I'm there. It's hard to sleep in my bed because he's not there," said Whitney.
As a quadruple amputee, Whitney says Foster was her caretaker for 11 years. She says she had to figure out other options.
"I’ve had friends who've been taking care of me, you know, and have to learn how to do all of that stuff that Garrett was doing for me for a decade," said Whitney.
The defense called forensic psychologist Dr. Greg Hupp for his insight. He evaluated Perry and said Perry suffers from PTSD and is on the autism spectrum. Dr. Hupp says that mix has Perry see the world in black and white and causes him to approach situations with an "us versus them" mentality.
"Those can create a just kind of harden on how that brain works to where it's basically an ‘all or nothing’ type of thing with the PTSD that ‘all or nothing’ becomes, ‘I am all in it for survival and my personal safety because my experiences, the world, has been out to get me since I was a little boy’," said Dr. Hupp.
The state presented racist social media post shared by Perry of a woman pushing a child into a bathtub filled with water with text that read "when your daughters first crush is a little negro boy". Dr. Hupp called the meme disgusting, but said it further backs his diagnosis that something is not right with Perry. Because of that, he claims Perry falls on his military mentality and lack of filter.
"I know it almost sounds ugly, but to say I mean, that's just raw testosterone coming out," said Dr. Hupp.
MORE ON THE DANIEL PERRY TRIAL
- Daniel Perry: New trial motion rejected by Travis County judge
- Daniel Perry murder trial: Police body cam footage shown to jury
- Expert testifies Garrett Foster was inches away from Daniel Perry's car door in murder trial
- Daniel Perry's police interview after Garrett Foster's death revealed to jury
- Daniel Perry trial: Racist, anti-protester messages revealed in unsealed documents
Several of Perry’s fellow soldiers were called to the stand and said he was a good guy with a happy outlook on life. They were presented with the racist meme shared by Perry, but all of them stood behind their previous statement.
Perry’s mother, Rachel Perry, also took the stand to mention how out of character this shooting was for her son.
"He cried. He cried a lot when this happened. His intention was just to protect himself, not to go out and shoot anybody," said Rachel Perry.
Before the judge unsealed the court documents, Governor Greg Abbott asked the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend a pardon for Perry.
The Board has not made a decision yet.
MORE: Juror says Texas Gov. Abbott’s rush to pardon shooter a ‘travesty’
FOX 7 Austin reached out to Gov. Abbott on May 8 to see if this new information changes anything.
His press assistant responded saying, "All pertinent information is for the Board to consider as this is part of the review process required by the Texas Constitution."
The judge will announce Perry’s sentence at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 9.