Man Acquitted On Federal Charge In Death Of Alabama Officer

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Jurors acquitted a man on a federal charge in the slaying of an Alabama police officer in 2019 but convicted him on two lesser weapons charges.

Marco Perez, who still faces a state capital murder charge in the killing of Mobile Police Officer Sean Tuder, was found not guilty of obstructing justice by killing a witness. The defense argued that Tuder didn't identify himself as an officer and Perez acted legally under Alabama's “stand your ground” law to what he believed was an attack.

Perez also was acquitted on a charge of firing a gun during a violent crime, but jurors convicted him of possessing a stolen firearm and receiving a gun while under indictment, news outlets reported.

Prosecutors said they'd seek the maximum possible punishment for Perez, 15 years, but defense lawyer John Beck said he expected a term of about 10 years. A sentencing hearing is expected in about three months.

Tuder, 30, was working undercover when he tried to arrest the then-19-year-old Perez and an altercation occurred. Perez was wanted at the time in a string of break-ins and on probation violations related to the federal gun charges.

State prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty against Perez. A Mobile County judge previously refused to grant Perez immunity from prosecution under the “stand your ground” law, which allows the use of force in self defense.