MOBILE, Ala. — A 20-year-old man pleaded not guilty to charges including capital murder in the death of an Alabama police officer.
Marco Perez entered the pleas Wednesday after being denied youthful offender status in the case, news outlets report. Perez was 19 years old when Mobile Police Officer Sean Tuder was shot and killed outside a hotel in January.
Authorities have said Perez shot the 30-year-old Tuder in the hotel’s parking lot with a gun stolen from an unlocked car. The state has argued Perez was previously granted youthful offender status for previous charges of burglary and breaking and entering into vehicles.
Perez’s attorney, Dennis Knizley, said his client deserved youthful offender status because surveillance video showed him backing away from the officer and surrendering. He said Tuder was undercover at the time and didn’t reveal himself to be a police officer, leading his client to believe his life was in danger. There’s no body camera video of the shooting, according to WKRG-TV.
Perez is scheduled to appear in court in January 2020. State prosecutors have filed court documents saying they intend to seek the death penalty in the case.