A man who threatened to kill a police officer was found guilty of retaliation and sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison.
Roberto Perez, 41, was charged with retaliation, a third degree felony, for threats he made against a Del Rio Police Department officer while in custody for public intoxication on June 12, 2017, according to an affidavit.
Perez threatened several times to kill former Officer Darren Johnson and the officer’s family while the defendant was in police custody, according to the affidavit.
“We will continue to take these types of cases seriously and prosecute them in a timely and efficient manner,” District Attorney Mike Bagley said in a statement. “Our law enforcement officers serve and protect us, and we must do the same when they encounter individuals like this in their daily jobs.”
The trial, which went in front of 63rd Judicial District Court Judge Enrique “Henry” Fernandez, lasted two-and-a half days, Bagley said.
Police Chief Fred Knoll said the ruling and sentencing send a message to the public that city law enforcement officials will not tolerate threats made toward peace officers.
“Any case that involves threats to public servants should be taken seriously,” Knoll said. “We do appreciate the prosecuting attorney for taking those matters seriously and handling them appropriately.”
The threats were made after Johnson responded to a call from a Val Verde County Library employee who reported Perez was drinking alcohol inside the library and damaging library property, according to the affidavit. Johnson later located Perez at the 100 block of Gibbs Street, where Perez was arrested for public intoxication.
Johnson’s audio recorder captured Perez’s statements, according to the affidavit, and two other officers also witnessed the threat once the officer brought Perez to the police station.