Mobile, AL – A cop killer facing the death penalty for the murder of Mobile Police Officer Sean Tuder has applied for "youthful offender" status.
Marco Perez was 19 on Jan. 20 when he allegedly shot Officer Tuder three times as the officer was attempting to take him into custody at the Peach Place Inn in West Mobile.
Perez was wanted by the Mobile police and federal authorities on multiple charges when Officer Tuder attempted to apprehend him, according to WALA.
The 19 year old also had a lengthy criminal history that included being a suspect in 18 car break-ins and a warrant on federal gun charges.
Officer Tuder should have been off-duty the day that he was murdered, but he had requested permission to follow up on a confidential tip that Perez was at the Peach Place Inn, according to the Birmingham News.
Police had most recently been looking for Perez after linking him to at least three stolen cars and one home burglary in January.
Officer Tuder was in undercover clothing and in an unmarked vehicle when he arrived at the Peach Place Inn.
The officer and Perez engaged in an altercation within seconds of the officer’s arrival, and that’s when Perez drew a weapon and shot Officer Tuder multiple times, according to police.
Perez was taken to court and charged with capital murder while wearing handcuffs engraved with the fallen officer’s name.
The district attorney’s office filed court documents on Oct. 29 to seek the death penalty against Perez, WALA reported.
In response, attorneys for Perez filed for youthful offender status for their client, who is now 20 years old.
Alabama allows defendants under 21 to seek youthful offender status in order to get a reduced sentence, according to HG.org.
The youthful offender program is focused on rehabilitation rather than incarceration, and is supposed to help younger defendants avoid the consequences and stigma of their actions.
Even if the person is found guilty, the conviction won’t appear on a youthful offender’s record, according to HG.org.
And those who are convicted as youthful offenders may still carry firearms and vote.
Police said Perez was part of a ring of criminals who sold stolen guns, and he was running from the authorities when he killed Officer, according to WKRG.
He was using a stolen gun when he fatally shot Officer Tuder, according to police.
Perez entered a guilty plea on the federal gun charge of having a stolen firearm in July and was sentenced to four years and three months in federal prison, according to WALA.