Man who fatally shot Harris County Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal during traffic stop sentenced to death

Here's what we know

HOUSTON, Texas – Punishment has been decided for the man found guilty of capital murder in the shooting death of Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal. Robert Solis has been sentenced to death.

His recent conviction came more than three years after he was first arrested and charged in the fatal shooting of Deputy Dhaliwal during a routine traffic stop.

After firing his attorneys, Solis decided to represent himself in court.

It did not turn out well.

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 the September 2019 cold-blooded murder. The video shows 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. It then shows Solis shoot the deputy in the head at point-blank range.

After the video was played, members of the jury and members of deputy Dhaliwal’s family were seen weeping in their seats.

Following that, Solis asked the judge to render a summary judgment on the case, acquitting him of the crime. Solis claimed the state had failed to make an adequate case against him for capital murder.

That didn’t work.

Hours later, Solis asked that the judge in the case to recuse himself and quit the trial entirely.

That didn’t work.

Solis continued to deny that 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.

He also challenged the judge to sentence him to death.

“Since you believe I’m guilty of capital murder, I believe you should give me the death penalty,” Solis said.

A jury agreed. He was sentenced to death on Wednesday afternoon.


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About the Authors:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.

Award-winning journalist, adventure seeker, explorer, dog lover.