LIVE BLOG: Detective defends decision to charge Tyler man with murder from 2017 shooting

Crime & Public Safety


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The second day of testimony in the Martin Reynolds trial was highlighted by the Smith County detective who defended his decision to charge him with murder after shooting Drew Carpenter.

David Turner said that even though Carpenter shot Reynolds first and hadn’t yet pulled a gun, Reynolds initiated the incident by coming to the house in the first place after they fought on the phone.

“Reynolds initiated the calls, started the disturbance, borrowed a gun, got a ride, and went over there to confront Drew.”

smith county detective david turner

Lance Davidon, Reynolds’ lead defense attorney got Turner to admit on the stand though that Carpenter acted illegally by shooting Reynolds, who was only holding a beer bottle and his gun was hidden.

Carpenter had a gun in his lap when Reynolds arrived to the porch that he had been using previously for hunting. He had borrowed the gun from his dad earlier that week.

Davidson then made a comment that Carpenter was “people hunting.” Prosecutors quickly objected to the remark and 114th District Court Judge Austin Jackson reminded him to stay away from “sidebar comments.”

Turner said his theor when he completed the investigation was that the case began after prank calls to Carpenter that “backfired.”

Reynolds’ old roommate testified that he heard phone calls between the two and that Carpenter was irate and threatened to shoot Reynolds if he showed up. The roommate testified that Reynolds did not believe the threat.

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.

The case has hinged whether Reynolds was justified in shooting Carpenter after being shot at first. Prosecutors argued Tuesday that Reynolds never should have made the trip in the first place.

The defense said that Reynolds was “going to make peace” and that he never pulled out his gun until Carpenter shot him in the leg with a shotgun.

The case could go to the jury as early as Wednesday. Reynolds turned down a plea offer of 15 years back in 2019.

Live Blog

11:19 a.m.

Prosecution hammering with Pardue that there was no reason Reynolds should have been going over to the house in the first place. Especially with the threats and strong language.

Prosecution ends questioning. Defense asks “If someone were to shoot you with a shotgun, would you shoot back?” Prosecution objects to speculation and Jackson sustains. His testimony is done.

Judge Jackson ends the morning session and asks the jury to be back from lunch by 12:40 p.m.

11:12 a.m.

Pardue testifies that there was no reason that he knew that Carpenter should have been threatening to kill Reynolds.

Defense passes questioning back to the prosecution.

11:08 a.m.

Pardue testifies that Carpenter threatened to shoot Reynolds over the phone. He never heard Reynolds threaten him back.

He said that Reynolds never believed the threat.

10:57 a.m.

Pardue testifying about the angry phone calls between Reynolds and Carpenter. Both cussing each other out. He said Reynolds made the decision to go to the house.

10:45 a.m.

Prosecution asks why the murder charge. He says Reynolds initiated the contact and drove to the scene with a gun illegally.

Defense asks if Carpenter acted legally by shooting Reynolds first.Turner says no. The whole case pretty much summed up in the back and forth.

The next witness called is Matthew Pardue, a roommate of Reynolds.

10:41 a.m.

Davidson passes back to the prosecution after getting him to say that Reynolds was never charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon.

Prosecution then asks if he did this because he wouldn’t bother with a misdemeanor when the same man is charged with murder.

Turner agreed.

10:37 a.m.

Judge Jackson sustains a comment by defense attorney Thad Davidson for saying Carpenter was “people hunting.”

He had been asking about the gun Carpenter was holding on his lap on the porch. It was not his property and he was not currently hunting.

10:31 a.m.

Questioning of Turner passed to the defense. He starts by asking about the timeline he created.

10:28 a.m.

Turner says that the gun fired by Reynolds at Carpenter belonged to Colton Tate.

He said it took hours to recover after the shooting. He finally recovered it from Tate.

Tate was charged with several others with tampering with evidence for moving the gun.

10:22 a.m.

Turner testifies that in his investigation he believed that the whole situation stated with prank calls, turned to smack talk, and then backfired when they arrived. He also said that Reynolds was told not to come to the property.

Unclear right now exactly what kind of prank he thought was being played.

10:17 a.m.

One text message shown on the timeline includes one from Reynolds to Dinger, the homeowner where the shooting said “‘He ain’t gonna shoot me man.”

10:11 a.m.

After a nearly 5-minute discussion at Jackson’s bench, he allows the timeline of the phone calls to be shown to the jury. It also includes text messages.

10:06 a.m.

Brief sidebar as defense objects to a timeline that Turner created.

10:00 a.m.

Turner went through cell phone records and was able to piece together the route that Reynolds, Nathan Garcia, and Colton Tate took to get to the house where the party/shooting was at.

9:46 a.m.

Robert Carpenter’s testimony was also short. Said Andrew had taken the shotgun and buckshot for hunting.
Defense has no questions. Next witness is David Turner, who at the time was a detective with Sheriff’s Office.

9:41 a.m.

Julia Roberts shed several tears after a photo just months before the shooting of her son was shown. She identified him as her son. Prosecution passed questioning and the defense had no questions for her.

His father Robert Carpenter is now testifying.

9:35 a.m.

The prosecution has called Julia, Andrew Carpenter’s mother to the stand.

9:22 a.m.

Judge Jackson is going to allow the Carpenter’s to testify but it’s going to be very limited on what they’re allowed to say.

No emotional testimony or talking about what kind of person Carpenter was will be allowed. We now have a 15-minute break.

9:15 a.m.

Prosecutors want Carpenter’s father to talk about the guns that he took from the home to the house where the shooting happened.

Defense arguing that it’s irrelevant because the parents had nothing to do with the shooting.

9:11 a.m.

Jury being excused now after questioning ends for Dr. Dyer. Lawyers will debate about potential testimony from Carpenter’s parents.

9:05 a.m.

Davidson asks Dyer if she has seen someone survive a shotgun blast initially but later die from infection, even from birdshot.
She says yes. He then passes questioning back after going over the trajectory and that both shots from Reynolds did massive damage.

9:00 a.m.

Dr. Dyer testifies that the second shot was likely fired as Carpenter was falling over after he’d been shot in the wrist.
This is due to the trajectory of the bullet being “downward.”

Prosecution passes questioning of Dr. Dyer to the defense.

8:55 a.m.

One bullet entered Carpenter’s chest, went through his right lung, and exited the lateral right side of his back. Caused massive amounts of internal bleeding inside his lung.

Dr. Dyer said this was enough to kill Carpenter.

8:44 a.m.

Jury being shown photos of Andrew Carpenter’s body from before the autopsy. It includes full body images as well as photos up close to where the bullets entered his body.

8:35 a.m.

Dr. Tracy Dyer has taken the stand.

8:30 a.m.

Judge Jackson calls the court to order. The first witness called will be Dr. Tracy Dyer, the medical examiner in Dallas who performed the autopsy.

However, both sets of lawyers are taking up issues with Jackson. Defense attorney Thad Davidson is bringing up an issue of a juror who apparently fell asleep in the afternoon session.

Carpenter’s parents will also be taking the stand today after Dyer.

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The second day of a Tyler murder trial is expected to begin with testimony from the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on the victim.

25-year-old Martin Reynolds is charged with murder in the 2017 shooting death of 19-year-old Andrew Carpenter. The two had been in a fight earlier in the day and Reynolds drove to a home that Carpenter was socializing at.

The trial centers around the question: Was Martin Reynolds justified in killing 19-year-old Andrew Carpenter? Assistant District Attorney Bryan Jiral told the jury in his opening statement Monday that the case is a relatively simple one.

“It’s a simple case, there aren’t a whole lot of facts in dispute. You’re going to hear that Martin Reynolds, because of a phone call, borrowed a gun, bummed a ride, and ended a young man’s life on Earth.”

ADA Bryan Jiral

Thad Davidson, lead defense counsel for Reynolds, has maintained for more than four years that Reynolds simply acted in self-defense and he had no intention of a shooting breaking out.

“Martin Reynolds was there to make peace,” Davidson said. “He was acting in a peaceful manner. He wasn’t acting in a threatening or provocative manner, he was walking up there with a beer in his hand to make peace.”

Tuesday’s testimony will begin with the medical examiner from Dallas who performed the autopsy on Carpenter. Lawyers on both sides were objecting several times to each other’s methods of questioning witnesses. During a break in the case, 114th District Judge Austin Jackson reminded both sets of attorneys to please remain professional.

The case is expected to be relatively quick and could go to the jury as early as Wednesday morning. In 2019, Reynolds turned down a 15-year plea offer from the District Attorney’s Office.

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