2011 Verona Standoff Suspect Sentenced To 15 Years
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – An international fugitive who was arrested after a standoff in Verona in 2011 is in court for a sentencing hearing today.
Frank Perez, Jr., 30, kept authorities at bay for hours in October of 2011 during the standoff and was wanted on murder charges in the state of Indiana. The FBI told KDKA-TV that Mexican authorities were also looking for him on kidnapping charges.
Perez was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of assault of a federal officer and firearms violations during the standoff.
Before sentencing, Perez told the judge, “I’d like to apologize for all my actions and the lives I’ve put in danger and to the people of Verona, I feel terrible for what I’ve done. I’d like to have a second chance at life.”
Earlier his fiancé, Rackisha Edwards, tearfully testified that she never saw any violent tendencies in Perez, who she knew as Troy East before the shootout with the FBI.
She said even when incarcerated, she plans to stand by Perez, who is the father of her son.
Previously, FBI agent Robert Smith testified that 11 FBI agents were involved in the encounter, as well as countless local officers.
Smith testified that Perez fired 30 rounds during 15 minutes of gunfire.
The agent said the only return fire from law enforcement was 24 tear gas canisters to force Perez out.
FBI Agent Kevin Deegan issued a statement on the Perez sentence which reads in part, ” The sentence takes a dangerous person off the streets and hopefully the sentence will serve as a deterrent to others…”
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