TYLER, Texas (KETK) – An Arlington man accused of shooting his partner at Tyler State Park after finding child porn on his phone appeared in court Monday afternoon to announce that he rejected a plea deal from prosecutors and that he wanted to go to trial.

Robert Price, 51, allegedly shot and killed his partner, 32-year-old Nathaniel Snell, back on July 20 shortly after he found the graphic images on Snell’s phone. The shooting happened at State Park Gas Station on FM 14 near Tyler State Park.

Smith County prosecutor Richard Vance told 7th District Court Judge Kerry Russell that Price was made an initial offer of 45 years in prison two weeks ago. A final offer on Friday dropped the sentence to 40 years, but Price rejected both.

Video surveillance showed Snell being shot in the chest as he stepped out of the car at the gas station. He stumbled inside as the car drove away, but later died at the scene as firefighters attempted to keep him alive.

According to an arrest warrant obtained by KETK News, detectives were able to locate a house they both lived at in Arlington. The landlord had just kicked Snell out of the house after the alleged pornography discovery and for possessing meth.

The day after the shooting, the homeowner said that Price had returned to the house crying and gave all of Snell’s possession to charity. Price allegedly said that he “could not stand to be reminded of [Snell] any longer.”

The landlord told police that a gun he kept in the closet of the home had been missing for a month. According to police, the same type of gun was used in the shooting.

Russell explained to Price that it would likely be months before his trial could come before a jury due to a large backlog of cases from the pandemic.

While many courts were able to figure out how to keep plea deals moving along on Zoom, jury trials were at a standstill by order of the Texas Supreme Court for months. As a result, thousands of Texans have been forced to wait for their day in court.

Russell said that Price’s case would be at the bottom of a list of more than 80 Smith County residents who have asked for a trial. As of this writing, his next hearing has not been scheduled.

Price has been held in the Smith County Jail since his arrest on July 23 on a $500,000 bond.