‘Wake up Drew!’ Murder trial begins for Tyler man charged in 2017 shooting

Crime & Public Safety

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Opening statements in Martin Reynold’s murder trial happened Monday in the Smith County Courthouse.

The trial centers around the question: Was Martin Reynolds justified in killing 19-year-old Andrew Carpenter?

According to an affidavit obtained by KETK News at the time, Reynolds and Carpenter got into an argument over a phone call. While it was on speaker, Carpenter allegedly told Reynolds if he showed up at his home, he would put a gun to his head.

The warrant stated that a man drove Reynolds from Whitehouse to Carpenter’s home on Deerwood Drive to confront him and that another man provided him with a pistol.

The affidavit states that they were walking to the home when they heard Carpenter yell and grab a shotgun. Reynolds allegedly told detectives Carpenter shot him in the leg first. He claimed he then shot back, hitting Carpenter twice.

When deputies arrived, witnesses were performing CPR and the warrant says they told investigators Reynolds was the shooter.

Several witnesses were called on Monday, including the 911 dispatcher and several law enforcement officers involved in the case.

Representing the state was Assistant District Attorney Bryan Jiral.

“It’s a simple case, there aren’t a whole lot of facts in dispute,” Jiral told the jury. “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.”

Thad Davidson represented the defense, claiming self-defense in this case.

“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.”

The jury listened to the 911 call, watched police body camera footage and saw crime scene photos. The first day of testimony lasted into the afternoon.

The trial will resume Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. It is expected to last through Thursday.


11:36 a.m.

Velasquez interviewed Nathan Garcia at the hospital. He was initially charged with murder as well in this case but later pleaded down to tampering with evidence charges.

He drove Reynolds to the scene and was behind him during the shooting. Prosecution done. No questions from the defense.

We are breaking for lunch due to next witness being lengthy. Will start back up at 12:40 p.m.

11:30 a.m.

Velasquez took photos of Martin Reynolds the night of the shooting at the hospital. His right leg is bloody and cut up. Got the jury’s attention.

11:24 a.m.

Davidson asks again that a rifle was also loaded that “you could kill someone a good way’s with that” when the scope is on?

Brazil said yes. Neither side had further questions. Next is Det. Max Velasquez, who was a deputy at the time with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. He was sent to the hospital to interview witnesses.

11:19 a.m.

ADA Jiral asks Brazil if it’s common how little blood there is at the scene, considering Carpenter was shot in the chest. He says it depends.

Jiral asks if he could still be bleeding severely internally. Brazil says yes.

Questioning back to the defense again.

11:08 a.m.

Davidson asks Brazil about the beer bottle that fell where Reynolds was standing.
Brazil confirms that where he was standing would have been fully visible from the porch where Carpenter was standing.
He also confirms that another gun nearby was loaded.

Questioning passed back to prosecution.

11:02 a.m.

Brazil said that the spent shell from the shotgun was birdshot. He also processed the guns. Questioning passed to the defense.

10:57 a.m.

Jury being shown dozens of crime scene photos taken by Brazil. Bloody sheets from where Carpenter had been laying as well as rounds from the guns are displayed.

10:46 a.m.

Defense done with Ossario in less than one minute. Next up is Travis Brazil, a detective with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. He is a crime scene investigator.

10:45 a.m.

Questioning passed to the defense. Ossario really just secured the scene along with Villa.

10:35 a.m.

The jury is back in the courtroom and the next witness is Officer Michael Ossario with the Whitehouse Police Department. He responded to the shooting and is seen on Deputy Villa’s body camera footage.

10:14 a.m.

The prosecution passes the questioning of Villa to the defense after roughly 30-40 minutes. Defense only has a few questions about Villa not having a main investigative role but was focused on securing the scene.

Judge Jackson has allowed for a 15-minute break.

10:11 a.m.

Villa begins taking cell phone photos of items on the porch, including a shotgun and other firearms.

10:05 a.m.

Carpenter is shown on a gurney and being put in an ambulance. At the time, the hospital was known as ETMC (now UT Health).

Villa is also starting to secure the scene.

9:59 a.m.

Footage shows that two small children were on scene when the shooting happened.

9:50 a.m.

Villa’s body camera footage is about to be played for the jury. It will be about 15-20 minutes. It’s about 80 minutes in total but the relevant portion is at the beginning.

9:35 a.m.

Questioning of Wallaze has ended. The next witness is Raphael Villa, a deputy with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office who responded to the shooting

9:29 a.m.

The 911 call has ended. Davidson now questioning her for the defense.

9:25 a.m.

As Wallaze was talking them through chest compressions, multiple people in the background could be heard saying “Come on Drew” and crying in the background.

9:17 a.m.

Wallaze spent several minutes walking witnesses through giving chest compressions to Drew Carpenter. She repeatedly said “one, two, three, four..” to keep them on track.

9:12 a.m.

“Wake up! Drew wake up!… Oh my god, Drew!”

This is how the 911 call begins while Wallaze tries to keep the caller calm.

Reynolds was wiping away tears as it started.

9:07 a.m.

Davidson has wrapped up after roughly 15 minutes. The first witness will be Amber Wallaze, the 911 dispatcher.

9:06 a.m.

Jiral asks counselors to approach Judge Jackson in the middle of Davidson’s opening statement. They spoke about 30 seconds and then Davidson continued. #MartinReynoldsTrial

9:03 a.m.

Davidson said to the jury to expect the two sets of lawyers to “go at it like cats and dogs” during this trial.

9:00 a.m.

From defense opening argument, he says that Carpenter loaded multiple guns before Reynolds even arrived.

Davidson says Reynolds walked up with a beer in his hand “to make peace.” He says Carpenter shot him with a shotgun before he could even speak. He was injured in the leg.

Martin Reynolds then shot back and killed Carpenter.

8:53 a.m.

Bryan Jiral done in 2-3 minutes. Thad Davidson giving the defense opening statement.

8:50 a.m.

The prosecution is beginning their opening statement. It is being delivered by ADA Bryan Jiral.
He opens by calling the incident “a sad story” and “a series of bad decisions.” Also admits that Drew Carpenter did indeed shoot first.

8:45 a.m.

The jury has been brought in. The 14 people, 12 jurors and two alternates, are made up of the following:

  • 6 white men
  • 4 black women
  • 4 white women

8:30 a.m.

Prosecutors say they will have 9 witnesses today and the first one tomorrow will be the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on Andrew Carpenter

8:25 a.m.

Judge Jackson and the two sets of lawyers are going through final preparations before the jury is brought in.


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – More than four years after his arrest, a Tyler man will finally have his murder trial on Monday for a 2017 shooting that left one man dead.

25-year-old Martin Reynolds has been sitting behind bars since the November 5, 2017, shooting that killed 19-year-old Andrew Carpenter. It’s been two years since Reynolds rejected a plea deal for 15 years behind bars.

Two other men, Colton Wade Tate and Nathan Ryan Garcia, were also initially charged with murder in the case, but pleaded down to tampering with physical evidence charges that left them on deferred adjudication for nearly 10 years.

According to an affidavit obtained by KETK News at the time, Reynolds and Carpenter got into an argument over a phone call. While it was on speaker, Carpenter allegedly told Reynolds if he showed up at his home, he would put a gun to his head.

The warrant stated that Garcia drove Reynolds from Whitehouse to Carpenter’s home on Deerwood Drive to confront him and that Tate provided him with a pistol.

The affidavit states that they were walking to the home when they heard Carpenter yell and grab a shotgun. Reynolds allegedly told detectives Carpenter shot him in the leg first. He claimed he then shot back, hitting Carpenter twice.

When deputies arrived, witnesses were performing CPR and the warrant says they told investigators Reynolds was the shooter.

The case has taken years to reach a jury due to multiple delays: an appeal by Reynolds’ defense team of a pre-trial court decision in 2018 and then the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 that created a large backlog of cases that courts are still moving through.

In 2018, Reynolds’ lead defense attorney Thad Davidson argued that he was being unlawfully jailed and filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus. It essentially argues the legal basis for the reasons someone is being detained.

Davidson argued before then-114th District Court Judge Christi Kennedy that he should not have been jailed since he claimed Carpenter shot first. She denied the writ, saying that a jury could decide whether the shooting was justified.

Despite cautions from Kennedy about appealing the decision due to the fact it could take months or even a couple of years, Davidson did file one with the Texas Twelfth District Court of Appeals, which upheld Kennedy’s decision in late 2019.

Before a trial could be heard, the pandemic brought the court system to a standstill in March 2020 and no trials of any kind were heard for months.

Kennedy has since retired and was replaced in January by Austin Reeves Jackson, who has been on the bench now for nearly one year.

The case was then scheduled behind the infamous William Davis trial, the former CHRISTUS nurse convicted of murdering multiple heart surgery patients. That trial last for more than one month and put off Reynolds trial until December.

Reynolds has been held in jail since his arrest in 2017 on a $750,000 bond. When his case begins Monday, he will have been behind bars for 1,492 consecutive days.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Right Now

Don't Miss

Community Calendar

KETK Twitter & Facebook

FOX51 Twitter & Facebook