The saga of Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza’s version of “justice”—and his controversial murder prosecution against Army Sergeant Daniel Perry—took an alarming turn this week.
Austin’s top homicide detective, David Fugitt, issued a sworn affidavit in Travis County’s district court accusing Garza of suppressing exculpatory evidence favorable to Perry.
So now have Detective David Fugitt – regarded as the top homicide detective in APD – expressly stating under oath that @JosePGarza instructed him not to present exculpatory evidence to the Grand Jury in the Garrett Foster case.
If true, that is a crime.
MASSIVE story here. pic.twitter.com/GQw5mNN97U
— ADAM LOEWY 📅📲🗽 (@LoewyLawFirm) August 3, 2021
According to Fugitt, who has solved dozens of homicides and assisted or consulted on nearly 500 investigations, representatives of the district attorney’s office forced him to remove witness statements and cell phone positioning evidence that did not match with the DA’s narrative. By the time the DA’s office was done with Fugitt’s statement, his slideshow was reduced from 158 slides to 56.
“In my mind, after this directive from José Garza is when the conduct of the district attorney’s office [went] from highly unethical behavior to criminal behavior,” Fugitt said.
Fugitt further alleges he was led to believe failure to go along with Garza’s narrative would have ramifications for his professional relationship with the DA’s office.
The case arises from the death of Garrett Foster during last summer’s “protests” in downtown Austin. Army Sergeant Daniel Perry was driving up Congress Avenue when his vehicle was encompassed by a mob, rendering escape impossible.
Foster, who was part of that crowd, was carrying an AR-15 and pointed the muzzle toward Sergeant Perry’s vehicle. Perry responded by firing at Foster.
There are conflicting reports as to whether Foster deliberately pointed the weapon at the vehicle or if it was accidentally angled in that direction. Either way, it was a tragic event.
According to DA Garza, however, it’s murder.
The serious allegations against Garza are only the latest against him, as he and his office have been enflamed in controversy and corruption accusations during his short tenure since January. Among others, Garza’s office allegedly demanded an assistant attorney also destroy evidence; his second in command was recently “looking to prosecute police officers”; and Garza has discarded 735 percent more felony cases, allowing a flood of criminals (including mass shooting suspects) back onto Austin’s streets.
Garza, who was elected only last November, campaigned to “reimagine justice in Travis County.” He is also a close political ally to socialist Austin City Councilmember Greg Casar.
If Fugitt’s allegations are true and can be proven, Garza could face time in prison.