Arraignment delayed for ex-LAPD officer charged with murder

Arraignment delayed for ex-LAPD officer charged with murder
Henry Solis appears in a Los Angeles courtroom. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The arraignment for an ex-Los Angeles police officer charged with murder was delayed Friday, one day after he arrived back in California after fleeing the country two months ago for Mexico.

Henry Solis, 27, faces one count of murder and one count of assault with a firearm as well as the allegation that he personally discharged a handgun, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. He is being held on $2 million bail. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday when prosecutors will request his bail be increased to $10 million, citing concerns that he would flee the country again if freed.


Solis was taken into custody May 26 in Mexico after a two-month manhunt that began when he fled California following the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Salome Rodriguez Jr.

In court Friday, Rodriguez's family kept their eyes on Solis as they gripped rosaries in honor of their slain loved one, who always carried a set of the prayer beads.

"It was hard to see him, knowing this is the person that last saw my son and the person that did harm to him," Rodriguez's mother, Lidia, said. "We wish we never heard of Solis and my son would be here still.

"There is comfort, because we know that now ... we can have justice, the starting of justice, and also that he can't harm anybody else," she added.

Authorities say Solis got into a brawl with Rodriguez in the early morning hours of March 13 outside a bar in Pomona. Solis chased down Rodriguez and fatally shot him multiple times, authorities said.

Solis, who had been an LAPD officer for nine months, was off-duty when the attack occurred.

"You teach your kids that they're the people that protect and serve and I was surprised because a cop could shoot my son and I know my son wouldn't do anything for a cop to shoot him," Rodriguez's mother said.

Hours after Rodriguez was gunned down, Pomona police publicly identified Solis as a person of interest in the killing, circulating a flier with his photo and information about his missing car.

The rookie officer didn't show up for work the next day, LAPD officials said.

Authorities allege that Solis abandoned his Volkswagen Jetta not far from the scene and called his father for help.

Authorities said surveillance video showed Victor Solis walking with his son across the border into Mexico. The elder Solis was later arrested and charged with lying to federal investigators in an attempt to help hide his son.

An FBI agent investigating Henry Solis said the former Marine was hiding out in Juarez, a border city in Chihuahua state. Solis grew a beard, stayed indoors and avoided using cellphones or social media. His aunts, uncles and cousins helped move him from house to house, the agent said.

But Mexican authorities eventually arrested him, and he was deported to Texas.

If convicted of the charges, Solis faces life in prison.


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