MOBILE, Ala (WKRG) — New details about the killing of Mobile Police Officer Sean Tuder were revealed Tuesday afternoon during 19-year-old suspect Marco Perez’ preliminary hearing.
Mobile Police Detective Jermaine Rogers was the only witness during the hearing. He testified Tuder was in plain clothes, driving an unmarked car when he arrived at the Peach Place Inn apartments on January 20th. Rogers said Tuder was wearing a badge on his belt, but no witnesses say they saw the badge, nor understood Tuder to be a police officer.
Rogers testified video surveillance shows Perez walking toward the vehicle when Tuder arrived as he believed a relative was coming to get him. The video shows Tuder getting out of the vehicle and pointing his weapon at Perez. Tuder then attempted to arrest Perez. The two went out of range of the camera and scuffled. Tuder was killed, having been shot three times – with four wounds – to his back, right hand, left ear, and the left side of his chest.
Perez then ran off into some nearby woods where officers eventually tased him. Rogers testified Perez said, “I messed up. I messed up.”
“The general defense I think you could gather from the tenor of the questions and the answers today and I’ll leave it at that,” said Perez’ attorney Dennis Knizley. Defense lawyers and prosecutors are under a gag order in the case.
But based on questioning today from Knizley it would seem the defense will try to establish that Perez did not know that Tuder was a police officer and that Tuder was not officially on duty, meaning that Perez cannot be charged with capital murder
The case was sent to a grand jury which should convene in six to nine months. At that time the District Attorney Ashley Rich will have to officially decide if this will be a capital case.
Perez remains jailed without bond.