Man accused of killing HPD sergeant part of 'The Sauce Factory' gang, court records say

Courtney Fischer Image
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Man accused of killing sergeant makes first court appearance
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In the nearly 30-minute court appearance on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 24-year-old Robert Soliz, seen wearing an orange jumpsuit and a face mask, sits as a full summary of allegations is read.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The man accused of killing a Houston police sergeant is allegedly affiliated with a local gang.

Robert Soliz, 24, made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon after being charged with murder. According to a summary of allegations, Soliz is known as a "documented gang member" of the "The Sauce Factory" gang.

Court documents say Soliz's social media accounts identify him as a gang member and even show photos of him holding guns and large amounts of money.

Soliz was arrested Tuesday 24 hours after the shooting death of Sgt. Sean Rios. The sergeant was killed Monday afternoon in the 7900 block of the North Freeway after police say he engaged Soliz in a gun battle.

READ MORE: Houston police officer killed in north Houston is 2nd officer killed in 3 weeks

During a news briefing on Tuesday, HPD Chief Art Acevedo released new surveillance video showing a separate person of interest, who remains on the run. The video shows a man wearing a dark-colored T-shirt engaged in a conversation with Soliz.

READ MORE: Police now looking for separate person of interest in HPD sergeant's death

Court documents read aloud during Soliz's appearance stated, "Recorded audio and video footage depicts Soliz exit a Mercedes, pacing around and stating, 'My [Expletive] jammed ... he almost hit me.'"

Soliz's prior criminal record showed charges dating back to 2014. In fact, Soliz had been out on a $100 bond connected to a February charge of unlawfully carrying a weapon in a motor vehicle. Other charges against Soliz range from having marijuana on him to evading arrest and criminal trespass. In 2017, Soliz was accused of threatening his girlfriend at the time with murder.

READ MORE: Who is Robert Soliz? Man accused of killing HPD Sgt. Rios

Meanwhile, Soliz's attorney Paul Looney held a news conference on Wednesday, calling on any law enforcement agency other than HPD to investigate the case.

Looney said HPD is the wrong agency to investigate and Acevedo has a conflict of interest in the case. A family member told Eyewitness News the 24-year-old isn't perfect, but is also no killer.

READ MORE: Suspect in HPD sergeant's murder acted in self-defense, relative says

A judge set Soliz's bond at $500,000. Defense attorneys had asked for $50,000, while prosecutors wanted a $1 million bond.

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