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Man sentenced to death for killing Ala. police officer

The jury voted 11-1 in favor of the death penalty after convicting the 24-year-old man in the death of Mobile Police Officer Sean Tuder

Officer Sean Tuder

Mobile Police Department via Officer Down Memorial Page

By Warren Kulo

MOBILE, Ala. — Marco Perez was sentenced Friday to be executed, a Mobile County jury decided on Friday, one day after convicting 24-year-old Perez of capital murder in the death of Mobile police officer Sean Tuder in 2019, WKRG reported.

The jury voted 11-1 in favor of the death penalty. At 24, Perez now becomes the youngest person on Alabama’s death row, by six years.

Multiple media reports indicated Perez’ attorneys called multiple witnesses to testify on Perez’ behalf, imploring the jury to spare his life, including several family members, according to WALA.

As he had done during the trial, Perez became emotional Friday, weeping quietly as his sister and mother testified. Perez’ father also testified, the outlet reported, saying his son had changed in the five years since the murder and noting Perez became a father roughly nine months after he murdered Tuder.

Savannah Brewer testified she learned she was pregnant with Perez’ child the day after the Jan. 20, 2019 shooting.

Prosecutors, however, countered with Perez’ troubled youth, including multiple suspensions from school beginning in middle school until he was expelled from high school for fighting. More recently, Perez had caused trouble with guards and other inmates while imprisoned at Mobile County Metro Jail.

Surveillance video was shown of an incident in the jail which reportedly shows Perez assaulting another inmate. Evidence was also shown that Perez was at one point in possession of a “shank” inside the jail.

Prosecutors had already put Tuder’s widow, Krissy Tuder, on the stand Thursday afternoon following the announcement of the guilty verdict. She recalled two Mobile police officers coming to her home to tell her Sean Tuder had been killed while trying to arrest Perez’ at Peach Place Inn apartments.

Krissy Tuder said she did not work for a year after her husband’s death and remains in counseling.

“That day changed my life,” she said, according to the report. “It changed everything about me.”

Sean Tuder’s mother, Noreen Tuder, also spoke to the jury, as did Lawrence Battiste, Mobile’s chief of police at the time of the murder. John Holzer, Tuder’s National Guard platoon sergeant, also testified and said Sean Tuder’s death hit the unit harder than any he had seen in his military career.

One of Perez’ attorneys, Jason Darley, noted Perez would die in prison, either by execution or by natural causes. Executions are carried out at Holman Correctional Facility near Atmore.

“The state is coming here asking you to kill again,” Darley said, according to WALA. “At some point, the killing has to stop — you don’t have to sign your name to the death warrant.”

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