Crime Stoppers director: Deputy's death "horrific, tragic, yet utterly preventable"

Jacob Rascon reporting.
Jacob Rascon reporting.

HOUSTON – The death of Harris County Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal was “horrific, tragic, yet utterly preventable,” the Crime Stoppers Director of Victim Services said. 

“(Robert Solis) was convicted of a new offense on parole, but he was not returned to prison,” Andy Kahan said. “I’m just dumbfounded that this continues to occur.”

Robert Solis criminal history

Deputy Dhaliwal’s accused killer, Robert Solis, was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for aggravated kidnapping in 2002, but was released on parole in 2014. 

Kahan says Solis was convicted for driving while intoxicated a couple of years later, but the Texas Parole Board decided not to send him back to prison.

In January 2017, Solis was accused of threatening his girlfriend at the time and possessing a prohibited weapon, a violation of his parole. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

Not the first time

“I wish I could say this is an anomaly, but it’s not,” Kahan said. “I have uncovered at least four citizens in Harris County (in recent years) killed by offenders who were on parole, who were convicted of new offenses but not returned to prison.”

What to do about it

Kahan has worked on parole board-related legislation with state lawmakers for several years that has not passed the Senate. 

“If anything positive can come from the horrific, tragic, yet utterly preventable death of deputy Sandeep, perhaps we can get this issue looked at more closely,” Kahan said.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice response

Late Monday, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesperson told KPRC TDCJ is “not a law enforcement agency.”

Parole officers do not make arrests, they issue warrants.