Convicted murderer Greg Abbott wants to pardon sought "chats to meet young girls"

"No nudes until you are old enough": Racist murderer's grooming chats exposed

By Rae Hodge

Staff Reporter

Published April 21, 2023 8:20PM (EDT)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference on October 17, 2022 in Beaumont, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference on October 17, 2022 in Beaumont, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Former U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry not only fantasized about killing Black people, and admitted to "accidentally" killing a homeless man — he also intentionally sought out kids online for his sexual grooming chats. Those details are all now public, recently appearing in the damning trove of Travis County court documents released during Perry's trial in the murder of 28-year-old Black Lives Matter protester and Air Force veteran Garrett Foster in 2020.

But the most notable fact about Perry? Almost immediately after his conviction this month, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott pledged to pardon him. 

At a July 2020 Black Lives Matter protest, held in Austin on behalf of George Floyd, some protesters who'd already faced death threats were legally open-carrying guns. Foster was one of them. Perry was an active Army sergeant, working for Uber while stationed at Fort Hood. He drove downtown where protests were occurring just blocks from the Capitol, stopped and honked at protesters crossing the street, then ran a red light so he could drive his car into the crowd where Foster was pushing his fiancés' wheelchair.

When Perry ran over a traffic cone and protesters crowded his car in response, Perry shot and killed Foster. Perry's Apr. 7 conviction has since become a political rallying cry for conservatives.

"I'm working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sgt. Perry," tweeted in an Apr. 8 response to the growing clamor, most notably led by Fox News' Tucker Carlson. 

Abbott's tweet pledging to pardon Perry came less than 24 hours after Carlson ribbed Abbott about not coming on his show to address Perry's murder conviction. 

"So that is Greg Abbott's position. There's no right to self-defense in Texas," Carlson goaded in an Apr. 7 segment, calling the conviction "a legal atrocity."

Carlson's follow-up tweet, specifically tagging Abbott in an invitation, has since become a chaotically bipartisan dunking ground. And even though Perry has now been publicly confirmed as a racist murderer who preys on purported 16-year-olds for textbook sexual grooming chatter — Carlson is still awkwardly silent on his own call for Perry's pardon. 

The call for pardon elicited fierce backlash online, where Twitter users called it "sickening."

Days later, a flood of harrowing evidence about Perry surged into the spotlight on Apr. 14, revealing his attempts to find and sexually groom young girls online.

"Included in the tranche of documents the court released after Daniel Perry's murder conviction were sexual communications he appeared to be exchanging with a minor," tweeted Dallas News' Lauren McGaughy. 

The excerpt — from the full 75-page filing, hosted online by the Houston Chronicle — reveals a series of disturbing messages between Perry and contacts.

"Ok so im 16 ill be 17 in 3 months u sure u want me," one user wrote to Perry on Kik Messenger.  

Perry apparently had to consider it.

"What state?" he asked. Adding later, "promise me no nudes until you are old enough to be of age." 

In what may be the most overlooked part of Perry's humiliating exposure, the young girl actually appears put-off when Perry tells her to "come up with a reason I should be your boyfriend." When he then tries to elicit praise from her by asking "So why an old man like me?," the 16-year-old tosses back an impressively savage ego-torcher: 

 "Wym," [What do you mean?] she says. "I don't want u."

Perry's hunt for minors was also documented in his internet search records -- where "good chats to meet young girls" appeared alongside "attack on Jews in Texas."

Further conversations reveal Perry's years-long habit of sharing "white power" memes with friends and fantasizing about killing Black people and Muslims. In one text, he laments: "To bad we can't get paid for hunting Muslims in Europe."

In a May 2020 Facebook message, Perry told a friend he was "imagining standing on a roof top with a megaphone and a MAGA hat, saying looters will be shot leave the area immediately and then count down to zero or when they start breaking down the front door just opening up like it is open season." [sic] 

The new revelations only heightened backlash against newly passed anti-LGBTQ laws signed into law by Abbott.  

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In his article, the Texas Observer's Steven Monacelli points out that Abbott stayed quiet for a while after the Apr. 14 revelations. Monacelli notes that Abbott and the Republican-controlled Texas Senate led by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick more or less control the composition of Texas' Board of Pardons and Paroles. That board currently has not formally recommended a gubernatorial pardon — which Abbott would need in order to get Perry off the hook for a murder conviction — largely because Perry hasn't even been sentenced yet. 

"Governor Abbott, are you aware that the man that you hope to pardon was apparently having inappropriate conversations with underage youth?" Monacelli asked in a tweet. 

So far, Abbott doesn't appear to have responded to Monacelli's request for comment, save for a spokesman's hand-waiving assurance that "all pertinent information is for the Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider, as this is part of the review process required by the Texas Constitution." Alas, neither Abbott -- nor Carlson -- immediately responded to Salon's requests either.   

By Rae Hodge

Rae Hodge is a science reporter for Salon. Her data-driven, investigative coverage spans more than a decade, including prior roles with CNET, the AP, NPR, the BBC and others. She can be found on Mastodon at 


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Black Lives Matter Daniel Perry Gop Greg Abbott Texas Tucker Carlson