On September 27, Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, 42, was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop by repeat offender Robert Solis. He was the first observant Sikh to become a sheriff’s deputy in Harris County.
The fatal traffic stop took place at 12:23 p.m. local time. It went normally at first until Deputy Dhaliwal walked back toward his vehicle. At this time, Robert Solis exited his car and ran toward Dhaliwal from behind and shot him in the head. A witness heard two shots and called 911 after seeing Solis flee after the murder.
Solis’s Extensive Criminal History Goes Back 25 Years
Robert Solis was a repeat offender with 25 years of criminal history. Even his earliest criminal offenses are violent crimes, including assault with bodily injury, robbery with a deadly weapon and assault with a deadly weapon.
Then, in 2002, he was charged with aggravated kidnapping and another assault with a deadly weapon charge. Robert Solis was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison, when he was released on parole in 2014. Two years after this, while still on parole, Solis was arrested for a DUI charge. The parole board was informed—however, they did not revoke his parole and take him back to jail.
Also see: Top 3 Crimes in Harris County
Just two years ago, an ex-girlfriend filed an affidavit accusing him of assaulting her. This was forwarded to his parole officer, which led to a blue warrant (a warrant issued for parole violation). According to Crime Stoppers victim advocate Andy Kahan, “that’s when he flew the coop. He’s been a fugitive from justice for almost three years and nobody knew it.”
“We can’t change what happened, but when violent offenders go missing on parole, letting everyone know they’re missing, and we can get them picked up as opposed to years later, after they allegedly murder a deputy.” —Andy Kahan
See also: How to Find Any Inmate Arrested in Texas
Life Without Parole or the Death Penalty
Now that Robert Solis is back in custody, he does not have the option to bail out on bond. “He is a danger to our society,” prosecutor Katie Warren told the court. “He showed signs of trying to flee.”
Once convicted, he could face either life in prison without parole or the death penalty. “It is a likely outcome that death will be the sentence here,” Judge Chris Morton told Robert Solis in court, referring to the severity of his crimes and past criminal history.
Related: When Can Courts Deny Bail?
Texas Penal Code § 19.03. Capital Murder
Capital homicide in Texas includes all of the following:
- The victim is a peace officer or fireman on official duty.
- Murdering while committing/attempting kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault or arson.
- Murdering while escaping.
- Murdering an employee or inmate while the criminal is in custody.
- Murdering more than one person during the same criminal transaction, scheme or course of conduct.
- The victim is under 6 years old.
Capital punishment is a very viable penalty for any of these charges. In Texas, capital punishment is done by lethal injection.
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