HARRIS COUNTY (Covering Katy News) - Robert Solis, 47, has been arrested and charged with the capital murder of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal and it appears his motive for the killing was to stay out of prison. He had an active warrant for his arrest which was about to be revealed after he was pulled over in a traffic stop by deputy Dhaliwal. Instead of allowing Dhaliwal to run his driver's license on his patrol car's computer, investigators say he walked up to the law man and put a bullet into his head.
"Solis had an active parole violation warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon dating back to January 2017," Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed in a social media post.
His violent criminal past reportedly dates back 25 years with arrests for assault with bodily injury, robbery with a deadly weapon and assault with a deadly weapon. Those charges were dismissed but a clean slate did not result in Solis living a clean life.
He was charged with aggravated kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon in 2002 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was released on parole in 2014 but he was arrested for driving drunk. The parole board gave him another chance and did not revoke his parole. He was allowed to remain free.
His girlfriend accused him of assault two years ago. That's when a warrant was issued for his arrest and Solis disappeared.
"That's when he flew the coop," Crime Stoppers victim's advocate Andy Kahan told KTRK. "He's been a fugitive from justice for almost three years and nobody knew it."
Solis was pulled over during a traffic stop on Friday and he knew that Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal would see that there was an active warrant for his arrest. A short time later Dhaliwal was dead.
Some people, including Kahan, believe if Solis' warrant had been acted upon sooner Dhaliwal would still be alive. They believe more needs to be done to alert the public of parole violators so they can be arrested sooner. Kahan is not the only victim's advocate with that opinion.
"We must get more serious about following laws that were put in place to protect citizens and heroes like Deputy Dhaliwal," wrote Houston Crime Stoppers executive director Rania Mankarious on a Facebook post.