'I was scared to do anything': Ex-wife, son of deputy slaying suspect speak about his criminal past

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HOUSTON – Long before Robert Solis was charged with the capital murder of Harris County Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, he was married to his common-law wife and had a family.

Life was chaotic, according to Melissa Purtee and her 25-year-old son, Robert Purtee.

Q: You got together in 1993 when he was 21 and you were 15. What was life like?

Melissa Purtee: He had me brainwashed. I couldn't order pizzas. I was scared to do anything. He threatened to take my baby away from me; he threatened to ruin my life. When you're that young, you think, 'Oh, it's not going to happen again'. 

Question: What was the turning point, when you said enough is enough?

Melissa Purtee: The control. He was a bully ... I couldn't express my opinions about anything and he got to the point where he started being abusive to the kids. I left with the three boys. When I had the boys, I was 16, 17 and 19.

Question: What was it like being one of Solis' kids?

Robert Purtee: He was both physically and mentally abusive, not just to me but to my other brothers. We would go to school with bruises on ourselves. He was the person who raised us since we were babies. We thought this was normal life.

Question: You are not doing this interview to relive the past. You are doing this interview to alert the public?

Melissa Purtee: I tried to tell everyone he was dangerous. I started calling his parole officer, HPD, Crime Stoppers and the Ft. Bend County Sheriff's Office. I was trying to hand this guy to them on a silver platter. I said where he was at. He had guns and drugs, and one of my sons. But it was the parole officer's fault.

Robert Purtee: It was the complete incompetence of the parole officer. These people are supposed to be supervising these violent criminals' reintegration into society. They're not.

The Purtees claim they called Solis' parole officer 10 times, asking for a spot check. But nothing happened.

Channel 2 Investigates contacted TDCJ and inquired about why, if Solis had a warrant for his arrest and were given the address where he lived, they didn't take action.

"TCDJ is not a law enforcement organization. When an arrest warrant is issued, we depend on local law enforcement. Parole officers don't have arrest powers,"

Jeremy Desel, TDCJ director of communications, said Monday. Desel said that tips to parole officers are, as standard practice, forwarded to law enforcement for follow-up since TDCJ has no police powers. Desel said he did not have that answer Monday.