News & Politics

EXCLUSIVE: Defense Says Travis County DA Jose Garza Files Motion to Seal Evidence Against Him in High-Profile Shooting Case

Official portrait of Travis County DA Jose Garza. From his official government website.

On Friday, PJMedia reported disturbing allegations of witness tampering and criminal misconduct levied against Travis County, Texas, District Attorney Jose Garza. The allegations come in the midst of the prosecutor’s ongoing murder case against U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry in the riot-related shooting of Garrett Foster last summer.

Today, Garza is attempting to suppress a key document in the case according to Perry’s defense attorney, Douglas O’Connell. O’Connell makes the explosive allegation in this tweet.

The document in question is the supplemental writ of habeas corpus Perry’s defense filed along with several other filings last week in their request for an evidentiary hearing into Garza’s conduct. PJMedia obtained those filings and reported on the most explosive allegations Perry’s defense is leveling at Garza and acting Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon — that Garza ordered and Chacon carried out retaliation against career Detective David Fugitt after he found Perry’s actions constitute justified homicide and he should face no charges. Garza took Perry’s case to a Travis County grand jury which indicted him for murder. In the court filings, Fugitt alleges that Garza ordered him to change his testimony to remove exculpatory evidence he had amassed as the lead investigator in the case. This is the witness tampering allegation. When Fugitt refused, Garza called APD and an internal affairs investigation of Fugitt was launched. An IA investigation can lead to an officer’s termination and loss of pension and benefits. This is the basis of the allegation of illegal retaliation.

In the document Garza is said to trying to have sealed, he is accused of illegally having a paralegal, Steven Darden, present in the grand jury room during testimony. The habeas corpus filing states that Darden’s presence in the room was illegal. According to that filing:

Austin

PJMedia obtained the document that Garza is reportedly attempting to have sealed last week.