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Attorneys say Rittenhouse verdict could make jury selection harder in Daniel Perry trial

A grand jury indicted Sgt. Daniel Perry earlier this year on a murder charge after shooting Garrett Foster, an armed protester, in 2020 in downtown Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas — Friday, a Wisconsin jury found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on five charges. However, some Austin attorneys say the attention of the trial coupled with pleas of self-defense may make it more difficult to find an unbiased jury for a high profile self-defense case in the Texas capital.

"It's a completely gray area and every little thing matters," Elizabeth Resendez, a criminal defense attorney at Brand & Resendez Law, said. "It's hard with self-defense in these types of cases because assaults – anything where there's multiple people involved. I mean, you're talking about a very chaotic situation and things happen very fast."

"It's completely gray when it comes to self-defense, there are many little caveats through case law that have been molded," Marc Chavez, another Austin criminal defense attorney with his own firm, said.

RELATED: Texas leaders react to Kyle Rittenhouse verdict

In Austin, U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry killed Garrett Foster in 2020. Perry drove into a crowd of marching protesters, and he argues Foster aimed an assault style rifle at him. Perry's attorneys say he was afraid for his life, so he pulled out his own gun and shot Foster, killing him.

"Sgt. Perry's case is much, much stronger than the Rittenhouse case as far as a case of self-defense," Clint Broden, who represents Perry, said Friday.

A grand jury indicted Perry last year on a murder charge. Perry's attorneys called for the charge to be dropped, and filed a motion saying some evidence was not brought to the grand jury's attention. Those motions were denied. Broden is still deciding whether or not to appeal those decisions.

Chavez and Resendez believe the Rittenhouse trial may have a ripple effect that could make it more difficult to find an unbiased jury when the time comes for Perry's trial.

RELATED: Citing misconduct that prosecutors deny, attorney for shooter in Garrett Foster's death wants case dismissed

"The judge and the attorneys have an obligation to seek out jurists, jury members who can set all that aside, whatever knowledge they have, opinions or bias about the Kyle Rittenhouse not only trial, but verdict itself," Chavez said. "They have to select 12 jurors [who are] unbiased, independent or if they have an opinion about the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, they can set it aside and not allow it to influence as they are learning of the facts of this trial here in Austin."

"It's going to be difficult to find people who haven't been following the Rittenhouse case, at least partially, and who don't have some kind of opinion on whether or not that was correctly decided or incorrectly decided," Resendez said. "Of course, I think the natural reaction, I think for anybody is to have an immediate opinion."

The trial date for Sgt. Daniel Perry has not yet been set.


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