HOUSTON, Texas – The jury has reached a verdict in the trial of a man accused in the fatal shooting of a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy. Robert Solis has been found guilty.
Monday’s conviction comes more than three years after Solis was first arrested and charged with capital murder, accused of shooting Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal to death during a routine traffic stop.
Solis fired his attorneys and decided to represent himself in court.
During his opening statement, he proclaimed his innocence, calling the state’s case against him insufficient.
”I stand before you an innocent man until you all go back there and deliberate and determine whether or not the state has met its burden and whether I intentionally and knowingly, a conscious objective, shot this deputy,” Solis told the jurors.
To prove their case against Solis, Harris County prosecutors presented their most powerful and heartbreaking evidence.
They showed the jury the actual video from Deputy Dhaliwal’s body cam showing Solis jumping out of his car, running up to Dhaliwal’s patrol car in the middle of the traffic stop, ordering him to put his hands up and not to move. He then shot the deputy in the head at point-blank range.
After that video was played, members of the jury and members of deputy Dhaliwal’s family were seen weeping in their seats.
As for Solis, just moments after the actual video of the murder was played, he asked the judge to render a summary judgment on the case, right then and there, and declare him acquitted of the crime, claiming the state had failed to make an adequate case against him for capital murder.
“I believe I will be able to show that I had no intention of killing this man,” Solis told the jury, as he hung his head.
Hours later, Solis asked that the judge in this case to recuse himself, in other words, that he quit this trial entirely.
“Since you believe I’m guilty of capital murder, I believe you should give me the death penalty,” Solis said.
Solis continues to deny he killed the deputy in cold blood, describing the deadly shooting as an unfortunate situation.
“It happened. I can’t change it. Was that my intent? My objective? Absolutely not,” he said.