Gov. Greg Abbott has fully pardoned Army Sgt. Daniel Perry following a unanimous recommendation from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Perry had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the shooting death of an armed Black Lives Matter protester, Garrett Foster.

In downtown Austin on July 25, 2020, Foster pointed an AK-47 at Perry while a group of BLM protesters surrounded his car and began to bang on it. Perry, stationed at Ford Hood and driving for Uber for extra income, says he honked his car horn at protesters blocking an intersection. 

During Perry’s trial, his defense team stated that Foster raised a firearm at Perry, leading Perry to use his handgun in self-defense. 

In April 2023, a Travis County Jury sentenced Perry to 25 years in prison for Foster’s death. However, it was speculated that his sentence could be cut short after Abbott asked for an expedited review of the case to issue a pardon.

Nearly a year later, in a statement obtained by CBS Austin News, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles said that after reviewing the case, examining police reports, court records, witness statements, and conducting interviews with people associated with the case, they decided to grant a full pardon and restore Perry’s Second Amendment rights. 

Gov. Abbott released a proclamation Thursday granting Perry’s parole. 

“The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles conducted an exhaustive review of U.S. Army Sergeant Daniel Perry’s personal history and the facts surrounding the July 2020 incident and recommended a Full Pardon and Restoration of Full Civil Rights of Citizenship,” said Abbott. “Among the voluminous files reviewed by the Board, they considered information provided by the Travis County District Attorney, the full investigative report on Daniel Perry, plus a review of all the testimony provided at trial. Texas has one of the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney. I thank the Board for its thorough investigation, and I approve their pardon recommendation.”

Perry’s attorney Douglas O’Connell released a statement on his behalf, thanking Abbott and adding that, “The
action by Governor Abbott and the Pardon Board corrects the courtroom travesty which occurred over a year ago and represents true justice in this case. We intend to fight to get Daniel’s military service characterization upgraded to an Honorable Discharge.”

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.