Trial set for man accused of shooting deputy

By by Lauren Seabrook
Published On: Jul 31 2013 08:45:27 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 31 2013 06:46:20 PM CDT
Trial set for man accused of shooting deputy
(WICHITA, Kan.) -

Jason Perez heads to trial after the deputy he is accused of shooting and trying to kill testifies against him. In a courtroom Wednesday, Sedgwick County Sheriff's Deputy Lucas Powell relived the day he was shot in the face.

"The damage is permanent. There's 25 percent of my field of view that's just black," said Powell.

It is a fate that started with a routine traffic stop. Powell said the car would not pull over.

"I know at one point I saw the speedometer showed 125," he said.

Powell said the high-speed chase went through three counties before a man and woman got out of the car. Powell testified he threatened the pair with his K-9, warning the dog would bite.

"He levels the gun at me and I immediately start making commands to drop the gun. I had decided in my mind that I needed to get out two commands of 'Drop the gun.' I got one full command out and in the process of making the second command a gun shot went off, which struck me in the eye," he testified.

Perez's defense attorney asked Powell if he saw who pulled the trigger.

"I did not see him fire it. At the time the shot went off, he was pointing the gun at me at that time. I assume it was that gun that had gone off because that was the gun that I had seen," said Powell.

Powell said he immediately fired nearly 10 rounds at the suspect before falling to his knees.

"I moved back from behind cover and put out on the radio that shots had been fired, that I had been struck. I triaged myself. After getting that radio out, I came out from behind my cover and fired more rounds until my gun went dry," said Powell.

When other officers arrived, Perez was shot, arrested and taken into police custody. A few days later, a Kansas Bureau of Investigation agent interviewed him at the hospital. The agent described that conversation to the judge, quoting Perez.

"After I shot at the officer, I went down that path and there was no turning back," he said.

The defense did not call any witnesses during the preliminary hearing for Perez. Perez is also accused of shooting at a Butler County sheriff's deputy. That is the third attempted first-degree murder charge. He also faces aggravated assault of a third law enforcement officer and nearly 10 other charges.

A jury trial is set for September 23. His defense attorney said they will enter a plea of not guilty.

A woman, Clara Crosser, was also charged in the case.

Trial set for man accused of shooting deputy