Man convicted in death of Texas agency’s first Sikh deputy


HOUSTON (AP) — A man was convicted of capital murder Monday in the 2019 shooting death of a law enforcement officer who was his agency’s first Sikh deputy in Texas.

A jury took less than 30 minutes to find Robert Solis, 50, guilty of killing Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal during a September 2019 traffic stop on a cul-de-sac. -residential bag 29 kilometers northwest of Houston.

Authorities say the 42-year-old deputy was shot multiple times from behind after he stopped Solis and returned to his patrol car.

The same jury in Houston that convicted Solis began hearing evidence Monday afternoon in the punishment phase of the trial. Prosecutors are asking for a death sentence.

Just before his trial began last week, Solis fired his public defenders and opted to represent himself.

Solis testified in his own defense and told jurors he accidentally shot Dhaliwal.

Prosecutors argued that Solis deliberately shot Dhaliwal because he did not want to return to prison. At the time of the traffic stop, Solis had a warrant for a parole violation.

Dhaliwal was described by Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez as “a trailblazer” because he was the first Sikh deputy in the sheriff’s office when he joined the force around 2009.

Gonzalez’s predecessor as sheriff, Adrian Garcia, implemented a policy of religious accommodation that allowed Dhaliwal to wear the traditional turban and beard of the Sikh religion.

Garcia, who is now the Harris County commissioner, was in a town hall meeting Monday afternoon when he stopped to announce the guilty verdict.

“I know it won’t bring him back, but it’s a measure of justice,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county’s top elected official, said at the meeting before taking a moment of silence. in honor of Dhaliwal.

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This story has been corrected to show Adrian Garcia is now County Commissioner, not Ed Gonzalez/

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