The father of an ex-Los Angeles police officer suspected in a fatal shooting in Pomona has been found guilty of providing false statements to FBI agents.
Victor Solis, 53, of Lancaster was convicted by an El Paso federal jury Thursday of lying to the FBI about helping his son, Henry Solis, escape. The elder Solis has an Aug. 20 sentencing date, and he is facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Victor Solis was arrested in March after he was caught on security cameras crossing the U.S.-Mexico border with Henry Solis.
The father and son fled to Mexico on March 14, the day after Salome Rodriguez Jr. was chased and shot to death — allegedly by Henry Solis — following a fistfight at a Pomona bar.
According to the complaint, the elder Solis told agents he traveled alone to Mexico on March 14, “… when in truth and in fact the defendant traveled to Mexico with his son on March 14, 2015, and the defendant’s false statement was an attempt to conceal his son’s whereabouts from law enforcement.”
Henry Solis was on the run for more than two months before he was captured by Mexican authorities May 26, in the border city of Juarez, and deported to the United States. Pomona police detectives went to Texas to bring Henry Solis back to Southern California.
Henry Solis appeared in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Friday, but his arraignment was postponed until June 30. He is charged with one count each of murder and assault with a firearm, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Henry Solis, who was being held in lieu of $2 million bail, is due back in court Tuesday for a hearing in which prosecutors are expected to argue that his bail be increased to $10 million.
Deputy District Attorney Sandi Roth told a judge the increase was warranted because Solis had “extended family” in Texas and Mexico, as well as relatives in the Los Angeles area, and she was concerned they could “rally” and come up with enough money to spring the defendant on the lower amount.
If that happens, and Solis flees, “we may not have another chance to prosecute him,” Roth said.
Henry Solis faces life in prison if convicted.
Solis allegedly killed Salome Rodriguez Jr., 23, while a probationary officer in the LAPD’s Devonshire Division in the San Fernando Valley. The former Marine was fired by the department soon after becoming a fugitive. Police said Solis and Rodriguez got into a fight in a bar, and the confrontation spilled into the street and ended with gunfire.
Rodriguez’s mother, Lidia, said she was “hurt” and “surprised” when she learned that the suspect in her son’s killing was a police officer.
“Because you teach your kids that they’re the people that protect and serve,” she said.
[City News Service contributed to this report.]
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