Deputy Dhaliwal killer speaks from death row
FOX 26 Reporter Randy Wallace spoke exclusively with Robert Solis, who was convicted and sentenced to death after gunning down Harris County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal.
LIVINGSTON, Texas – After making the hour and a half drive to the Pollunsky unit in Livingston, Robert Solis initially said he changed his mind and he didn’t want to do the interview, especially with me.
“I used to watch your Breaking Bond segments. There’s a lot of mention about repeat offenders. I never hear you talk anything about the rights of citizens,” Solis said.
Robert Solis doesn’t have the right to live. That’s what the jury in his capital murder trial decided. Solis has only been on death row for a few weeks.
FULL INTERVIEW: FOX 26 speaks with Robert Solis
FOX 26 Reporter Randy Wallace spoke with Robert Solis, who is convicted of killing Harris County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, while on death row.
“Since I’ve been here, they’ve executed two people and that feeling of helplessness when the state is putting people on the chopping block,” he said.
In 2019, Solis gunned down Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal. He gained national attention for helping to change department policy to allow articles of faith, such as a turbin, to be worn on duty.
Did Dhaliwal’s religion play a part in Solis’s decision to execute him in broad daylight?
“Absolutely not,” Solis said. “I don’t understand why they would even think something like that.”
Right before his capital murder trial began, Solis fired his court appointed attorneys and chose to represent himself. Now, he blames the judge for that.
Robert Solis sentenced to death for killing Harris County Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal
“Sandeep changed our Sheriff’s Office family for the better, and we continue striving to live up to his example of servant leadership,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said on Twitter. “May he Rest In Peace.”
“I didn’t want to represent myself. If you look at the record, I told the judge, he kept trying to ask me, so you want to waive effective assistance of counsel. No, absolutely not,” said Solis.
RELATED: Robert Solis representing himself in trial for shooting of Harris Co. Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal
The 50-year-old Solis began his life of crime at the age of 14. He killed Dhaliwal during a traffic stop. We asked Solis if he knew he was a wanted fugitive.
“This is where it gets complicated. That’s why I don’t want to go into too much,” he said.
I pointed out to Ortiz that he walked up to Dhaliwal from behind and shot him in the back of the head.
“If you look at the evidence, that’s not what appears to have happened,” he said. “I explained that it was an accident when I was behind him. I really don’t want to get into that, Mr. Wallace.”
Death penalty cases go through a lengthy appeals process. There’s always the possibility an appeals court could grant Solis a new trial, which is something he says he wants.
“To have the opportunity to have my case heard,” Solis said. “I wouldn’t want another trial to put the family through that again. That’s the only reason I wouldn’t.”
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