Accused Mobile cop killer faces new indictment

Action by grand jury amends language to make it easier for prosecutors prove capital murder element
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 3:52 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Just as jury selection was getting under way for the highly anticipated capital murder trial of accused cop killer Marco Antonio Perez, a grand jury handed up a new indictment Tuesday making crucial changes to the language.

The new indictment alleges that Perez killed Mobile police Officer Sean Tuder in 2019 while he was “on duty as a police officer, regardless of whether Marco Antonio Perez knew or should have known” that he was on duty.

Mobile County Circuit Judge Ben Brooks earlier this month denied a prosecution request to make a similar change. Going to the grand jury allows the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office to achieve the same result. It means that prosecutors will not have to prove that Perez knew Tuder was a police officer as an element of capital murder.

“The present indictment substantially changes the allegations against the defendant,” his lawyers wrote Wednesday.

The lawyers wrote that they have been preparing a defense for nearly four years.

“To require Marco Perez to now defend against this materially different allegation of the indictment creates a prejudice of the defendant’s substantial rights,” they wrote.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty if the jury convicted the 24-year-old Theodore man.