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Whitehouse man pleads guilty to tampering with evidence in connection with 2017 murder

Colton Tate was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication on Tuesday.

SMITH COUNTY — A Whitehouse man has pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence in connection with a 2017 murder.

On Tuesday, Colton Tate, 22, entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication in the 114th District Court of Judge Christi Kennedy.

Tate was convicted and sentenced in connection with the November 2017 shooting death of 19-year-old Andrew Carpenter.

Nathan Garcia, 21, of Whitehouse, is expected to enter the same plea for tampering with physical evidence and be sentenced on Thursday, December 20.

In November 2018, murder charges against Tate and Garcia were dropped.

Martin Reynolds Jr., 22, of Whitehouse, is still set to go on trial for Carpenter's murder in February 2019.

According to the arrest warrant, on November 5, 2017, around 1:15 a.m., officials responded to a house in the 8800 block of Deerwood Drive on reports of a shooting.

When law enforcement arrived on scene, they discovered Carpenter with a gunshot wound to the chest. Carpenter was taken to a local hospital where he later died. Witnesses told deputies they believed Reynolds was the shooter.

Reynolds was arrested for Carpenter's murder and remains in the Smith County Jail on $750,000 bond.

He previously rejected the state's offer of a 15-year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea to the first-degree murder charge.