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Robert Solis sentenced to death in killing of Texas agency's 1st Sikh deputy

Your Wednesday Morning Headlines, October 26th, 2022
Your Wednesday Morning Headlines, October 26th, 2022 02:55

HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM) - Robert Solis, the man convicted of capital murder in the fatal 2019 shooting of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, was sentenced to death. 

Dhaliwal was the first Sikh deputy in his Texas agency. He was remembered for his compassion, warm smile and for a life marked by service to others. After joining the force in 2009, Harris County Sheriff Ed 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.

Authorities said the 42-year-old Dhaliwal was shot multiple times from behind after he had stopped Solis in a residential neighborhood and was walking back to his patrol car. 

"...Basically just shot him in a very ruthless, cold-blooded way," said Sheriff Gonzalez in 2019. 

Gonzelez later recounted how Dhaliwal worked with United Sikhs, an international nonprofit, non-governmental, humanitarian relief, human development and advocacy organization affiliated with the United Nations. Dhaliwal worked with the nonprofit to organize the donation of supplies for first responders after Hurricane Harvey devastated the county. He also went to Puerto Rico to help with relief after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

"He was a hero. Deputy Dhaliwal was a trailblazer," Gonzalez said.

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

But 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 the father of three children.

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