TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Martin Reynolds has been found guilty of murder after a three-day trial. He was charged after shooting Drew Carpenter in November 2017. He had maintained he acted in self-defense.
The jury deliberated for five hours.
A sentencing phase has to be held for Reynolds. Judge Jackson said that will likely conclude tomorrow.
His more than 4 years behind bars will count as time served for whatever sentence he is handed. He faces anywhere between 5 to 99 years in prison.
This story is developing. Check back for updates
A verdict has been reached. All parties are gathering in the courtroom.
The jury has officially been deliberating for five hours.
Jackson said if they cannot come to a decision Wednedsay night, the jury would have to be sequestered.
No set time yet for when everyone would be set home for the night.
Thad Davidson walked past the group of media in the hall and said “Nothing’s happening. So that’s good.”
A note passed from the jury said they wanted to listen to Reynold’s interview with Detective Hill again. There are also other things they want to look at, but they were not specific enough yet.
The jury also said they “were not close to a decision.” The courthouse staff has ordered pizza for the jurors, a further sign they intend to be deliberate for a lenthy period.
This was all per Thad Davidson, lead defense attorney for Martin Reynolds.
Both sets of attorneys walked back into the courtroom. A note had been passed from the jury but not a verdict.
Prosecutors have finished.
The jury has begun their deliberations.
The jury is made up of:
6 white men, 4 black women, and 2 white women.
2 other white women are alternates.
“Drew was justified. Because you heard it from Martin Reynolds himself that he pulled out his gun. Drew is justified.”
“Drew Carpenter was a son, a cousin, a nephew, a friend… none of those things that they called him that night.
Drew didn’t do anything. He wanted to be with his friends. He went over there because he was lonely.
“Was it stupid for Martin Reynolds to go over there? Yeah it was… It’s true he was an idiot to go over there. He walks up, gets shot, what else is he supposed to do?”
Davidson done after 15 min. Back to the prosecutors. They start by replaying his interview with Det. Hill.
“Martin Reynolds had one choice: shot or die. And he did it to have his life… Whatever this is, it ain’t murder.”
“Most of the witnesses testified that Reynolds did not say anything before Carpenter shot at him.” -Thad Davidson
Davidson brings up that every single witness who saw the shooting said that Reynolds was not holding a gun in his hand when Carpenter shot him.
Davidson says Carpenter “wasn’t deer hunting at night. He’s people hunting at night… He’s there to hunt and kill Martin Reynolds.”
He also says Carpenter was the one threatening Reynolds, not the other way around.
Jiral wraps up after 16 minutes.
Now Thad Davidson’s turn for the defense.
“That night took a young man who was full of life who had his full potential in front of him and put him on a slab because Martin Reynolds didn’t want him to win a shit-talking contest.” -Bryan Jiral
There is some kind of low music playing while Jiral is talking and none of the deputies can figure out where it’s coming from.
“We’re not here because of self-defense… or legal nuances. We’re here because Martin Reynold’s a bully.”
That got a rise out of the group of family and friends sitting behind Reynolds.
“There’s no doubt at all, none, that Martin Reynolds was carrying that weapon illegally.” -Bryan Jiral
Jury charge has been read after nearly 25 minutes.
Prosecutors begin their closing statement.
Defense goes next.
Then state gets to rebuttal.
Jury receives the case afterward.
Jury finally back in after being out of the courtroom for nearly 3 hours. Judge Jackson reading their instructions.
Then closing arguments will happen.
As both sides work through final adjustments, they are still trying to print final copies.
Judge Jackson is printing out final copies of the jury charge for the lawyers to review one more time before bringing the jury back.
About 10-15 family members and friends of Reynolds are now sitting behind his defense team. Silent tears while the lawyers wor through the jury charge.
Jackson denies the motion by prosecutors to take the self-defense provision out of the jury charge.
State wants Jackson to instruct jury that Reynolds can’t rely on self-defense since he was carrying gun illegally and sought out Carpenter.
But, Jackson says “While it’s 99% in your favor, there is a question of the 1% whether he was actually not invited.”
Judge Jackson welcomes the lawyers back. They are going over details of the jury instructions before bringing them back into the courtroom.
Judge Jackson puts on the record that someone who has been in jail with Reynolds the last four years called saying he had evidence for the state.
Jackson said that the prisoner did not seem credible. Both lawyers heard the message and did not want him brought in.
Davidson has Hill read a text sent by Carpenter that ended with “I will most start a fight.”
No further questions.
Prosecution rests. The defense will not call witnesses. We will have closing arguments then it goes to the jury. We are now in lunch break until 12:40 p.m.
Questioning of Hill passed back to the defense. He brings back to the text message timeline that Det. Turner created.
Prosecutor: These circumstances that are known to you and the law in this case, you still went and got a warrant for murder?
Hill: Yes sir.
Davidson: How is Carpenter an invited guest at the home if he left, but came back loaded with guns while the owners were asleep?
Hill: I can’t testify to that.
Defense passes questioning back to prosecution.
Davidson: Were you lying when you told Reynolds he had nothing to worry about if he was defending himself?
Hill: I guess it was both.
He said that it was still during the investigation and he was building a relationship with Reynolds.
Davidson demonstrates pumping the shotgun to re-load.
D: Would you agree that was much faster than how long it took me to pull out the pistol?
Hill: I’d agree.
Davidson demonstrated with the pistol how long it took him to pull it from behind his back.
Takes less than a second or two.Now demonstrating with the shotgun how quick Carpenter could have re-loaded.
No ammo in the guns and they had been ziptied until now.
Davidson says to Hill multiple witnesses to the shooting said Reynolds was not holding a gun when Carpenter shot.
“Are you aware every one of them said that Reynolds was not holding a gun when Carpenter shot him?
Hill: I’m not privy to their testimony
Prosecution finally done questioning Hill after more than 2.5 hours.
It’s now Thad Davidson’s turn for the defense.
Reynolds told a grand juror that “he started something stupid.” He said he didn’t think Carpenter would shoot him.
Reynolds testified to the grand jury that he said very explicit language to Carpenter over the phone, including a phrase that included the “n-word” along with an anti-gay slur.
He said the full phrases though. It has only been censored for this article. Four of the jurors are Black women.
Both Carpenter and Reynolds are heterosexual. Appears to be Reynolds trying to get under Carpenter’s skin.
Jackson has brought the jury back into the courtroom. Unclear how many pages out of 125 they intend to read from.
Davidson says he intends to demonstrate the gun Reynolds had to show that it can be hidden and his questioning of Det. Hill will be lengthy.
Jackson will allow the grand jury testimony to be read by Det. Hill but said that context must be given.
It spans 125 pages, but only experts will be read. Copies will need to be made.
Jackson orders a recess until 10:45 a.m.
The prosecution wants to use the entirety of the grand jury testimony that Reynolds made.
Defense is objecting because it’s the first he’s hearing of it, the testimony is secret and it’s the last day of the trial with the last witness.
Martin Reynolds testified before the grand jury after he was arrested.
Defense attorney Thad Davidson has asked for a sidebar with Judge Jackson before they begin discussing it.Hill been on the stand for just over 90 minutes.
Jackson has called for a recess. Jury has been excused while the lawyers begin hashing out whether to use the grand jury testimony.
Bryce Dinger texted Reynolds at 1:40 a.m. not to come to the house. He said that Carpenter had guns out on the porch.
Reynolds responds: “He ain’t gonna shoot me man.”
Drew texts Alyssa “Tell them if they come… they’re getting shot.”
Prosecutors bring back the timeline of texts and phone calls between all those involved that was created by Det. Turner.
Prosecutor: Was Drew scared when he shot Martin?
P: Did Drew commit a crime?
This is damning. But yesterday, Det. Turner testified that he believed Drew did commit a crime by firing first. Interesting which the jury will give more weight to.
Hill says the story by Reynolds changed after he hired a lawyer.
He testifies that Reynolds went from pulling it out to show Carpenter to then saying he kept it hidden behind his waist.
Prosecutor: Would you say that Drew knew the defendant had a gun before he fired?
Hill: Based on his interview, yes.
P: There’s no mistaking those words? It’s straight from the horse’s mouth?
Big moment for the prosecution. In the interview with Reynolds, he told Hill that he had his pistol in his hand and pulled it out to show Carpenter. This was to show Carpenter he had a gun as well.
This was just before Carpenter fired.
Reynolds told Hill that after he was shot, he “looked up and pulled the trigger twice.”
Prosecutors using that statement to say that Reynolds already had gun in his hand.
Defense has maintained that the gun was concealed. That will be interesting cross-examine from the defense when it’s their turn to question Hill.
Reynolds told Hill that Carpenter was not looking for him after getting upset on the phone.
Prosecutor: So Drew wasn’t looking for him?
P: The defendant went looking for Drew?
Reynolds told Hill that he brought the pistol for his protection but wasn’t planning on using it.Says Drew shot him first.
Reynolds is crying both in the interview and here in the courtroom while listening.
Prosecutors now playing the interview of Reynolds at the hospital to the jury. It is audio-only.
The gun that Reynolds used to shoot Carpenter is being shown to the jury by Hill.
Hill recorded his interview with Reynolds at the hospital. Prosecutors will be playing that interview here in a bit. Even though he was not considered a suspect at that point, Hill read him his Miranda rights out of caution.
Det. Hill testified that he interviewed Martin Reynolds at the hospital after the shooting.
Judge Jackson calls the court to order and brings in the jury.
The last witness for the prosecution is Josh Hill, a detective with the Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office. At the time of the shooting, he was a detective with the sheriff’s department.
TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The case of a Tyler man charged with murder in a 2017 shooting is expected to go to the jury on Wednesday after nearly two-and-a-half days of testimony.
25-year-old Martin Reynolds is facing up to life in prison for shooting Andrew Carpenter back in 2017. The trial has focused on whether Reynolds acted in self-defense after Carpenter shot at him first.
On Tuesday, a detective with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office defended his decision to pursue a murder charge by saying the Reynolds initiated the incident by infuriating Carpenter with prank phone calls and then driving to the home where Carpenter was socializing to confront him after they fought on the phone.
Thad Davidson, the lead defense attorney for Reynolds, has maintained for years that Reynolds acted in self-defense.
He had a gun hidden behind his back, but it was not visible to Carpenter and Reynolds was holding only a beer bottle when Carpenter shot him with a shotgun.
Davidson got Turner to admit on the stand though that Carpenter acted illegally by shooting Reynolds. Carpenter had a gun in his lap when Reynolds arrived at the porch that he had been using previously for hunting. He had borrowed the gun from his dad earlier that week.
Two friends, Nathan Garcia and Colton Tate, drove Reynolds to the home where Carpenter was hanging out at. Tate loaned him his pistol for protection, but Reynolds initially hid it behind his back under his shirt. Garcia and Tate have already pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence charges.
Prosecutors have one remaining witness that will testify Wednesday morning. The defense has very few witnesses of their own they will call, if any.
Closing arguments will be held after the defense is finished. Courtroom staff is hoping that the jury can begin deliberations by lunchtime.
Reynolds in 2019 turned down a 15-year plea deal from the Smith County District Attorney’s Office.