AP

Man convicted in death of Texas agency’s 1st Sikh deputy

Oct 17, 2022, 3:09 AM | Updated: 3:45 pm

FILE - Pyara Singh Dhaliwal, father of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, center, pay...

FILE - Pyara Singh Dhaliwal, father of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, center, pays respects to his son during his funeral at Berry Center on Oct. 2, 2019, in Houston. A man was convicted of capital murder on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, in the 2019 shooting death of the law enforcement officer who was the first Sikh deputy in his Texas agency. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP, File)

(Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP, File)

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

A jury took less than 30 minutes before finding Robert Solis, 50, guilty in the killing of Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal during a September 2019 traffic stop in a residential cul-de-sac 18 miles (29 kilometers) northwest of Houston.

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

The same jury in Houston that convicted Solis began hearing evidence late Monday afternoon in the trial’s punishment phase. Prosecutors are seeking a death sentence.

Just before his trial began last week, Solis fired his court appointed attorneys and chose to represent himself.

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

Prosecutors argued Solis deliberately shot Dhaliwal because he didn’t want to go back to jail. At the time of the traffic stop, Solis had a warrant for violating parole.

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

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

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

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

___

This story has been corrected to show that Adrian Garcia is now a county commissioner, not Ed Gonzalez/

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Photo: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is sworn-in before the House Committee on Hom...

the MyNorthwest Staff with wire reports

Senate dismisses two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security secretary, ends trial

The Senate dismissed impeachment charges against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, as Republicans pushed to remove him.

12 hours ago

idaho gender-affirming care...

Associated Press

Supreme Court allows Idaho to enforce its ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth

The Supreme Court is allowing Idaho to enforce its ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth while lawsuits over the law proceed.

2 days ago

Image: Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press in Manhattan state court in New York City ...

Associated Press

Trump’s hush money trial gets underway; 1st day ends without any jurors selected

The historic hush money trial of Donald Trump got underway Monday with the arduous process of selecting a jury to hear the case.

2 days ago

Photo: Israeli Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran, in cent...

Tia Goldenberg and Josef Federman, The Associated Press

Israel is quiet on next steps against Iran — and on which partners helped shoot down missiles

On Sunday, Israel's leaders credited an international military coalition with helping thwart a direct attack from Iran.

3 days ago

Early phases of Iran's drone attack against Israel. (Photo: Getty Images)...

Associated Press

The Latest | Iran launches its first direct military attack against Israel

Iran launched its first full-scale military attack against Israel on Saturday, sending drones toward Israel.

5 days ago

Early phases of Iran's drone attack against Israel. (Photo: Getty Images)...

Associated Press

BREAKING: White House confirms Iran drone attacks towards Israel

JERUSALEM (AP) — The White House says it will provide unspecified support for Israel’s defense against an ongoing airborne attack from Iran. National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a Saturday statement that “Iran has begun an airborne attack against Israel.” She added: “The United States will stand with the people of Israel and […]

5 days ago

Man convicted in death of Texas agency’s 1st Sikh deputy