Former Lee County deputy accused of killing son wants case dismissed

Published: June 14, 2021 12:36 PM EDT
Updated: June 15, 2021 12:14 PM EDT

A former Lee County deputy accused in the death of his son in 2019 wants his case dismissed based on the state’s “stand your ground” law.

Sergio Perez began crying in court Monday at the sight of his dead son, Ramon, as body camera footage from the first responding officer played.

They also showed footage from the interview conducted with Perez on the day of the interaction that led to Ramon’s death. In it, Perez said his son’s problem with him is that he is “successful and can practically do anything.”

He said that during the Aug. 13, 2019, altercation, his son tried to gouge his eyes out, so he elbowed him in the face and slammed him to the ground.

He asked investigators if Ramon was dead by saying, “Is he a Signal 7?”

The 911 call was also played in court Monday, and you could hear Perez’s mother – Ramon’s grandmother – screaming in the background during the body camera footage.

The incident occurred at the home of Nila Perez, 82, who said she witnessed some of the fight between her son and grandson. She said Ramon was very agitated and kept saying he was going to kill his father. During the altercation, the woman either slipped or was hit and fell, injuring a hip, but she managed to run to a neighbor’s home to call for help, a moment caught on a Ring camera. That video was also played in court.

The medical examiner said there is no doubt that Ramon died at the hands of his father, who held his son’s neck down for too long, a tactic taught to law enforcement officers like Perez to knock someone unconscious to allow time to restrain them, five to 10 seconds at most.

The defense is not denying that, but they’re calling it self-defense and asking the judge to throw out the case. They argued 33-year-old Ramon drank often, had 25 guns in his room, and threatened his father more than once.

The prosecution said there were no signs of a fight near Ramon’s room where the guns were kept; everything happened near the kitchen and living room.

Perez is charged with manslaughter.