Murder investigation ends at church with 15-yr-old's arrest

By Layron Livingston - bio | email

SMTIH COUNTY, TEXAS (KLTV) - Amanda Anderson was found dead in her bedroom, back in September. Authorities said she was shot four times in the head.

Thursday, Smith County Chief Deputy Bobby Garmon said the department was "ready to go to trial. Deputies said all the signs point to Nate Anderson--Amanda's younger brother--as the suspect.

Deputies were back in the Anderson's neighborhood, Wednesday night, searching for Nate. They'd eventually find him inside Tyler Gospel Chapel with his family, other church goers and schoolmates.

Smith County Sheriff J. B. Smith said deputies contacted the boy's father, Mark Anderson, who was also inside the church.

We're told Anderson asked the adults and children gathered around to pray for his son just moments before the boy was arrested.

"It was very emotional for them, and we hate that," Smith said.

Smith also said there was sufficient evidence to close the case weeks ago, but deputies wanted to be certain.

For days after the crime, investigators pored over the scene. We've learned they seized Amanda's computer, camera and cell phone. They removed guns from the home, including the one that matches the .22 caliber bullets taken from Amanda's body.

"In our hearts, we think we're right," Smith said.

Smith County investigators found high velocity impact blood spatter on the shoes, pants and shirt Nate was wearing the night of the murder. That evidence raised investigators' suspicions of 15-year-old boy. A national blood spatter expert visited Smith County and helped investigators come to a conclusion: Nate Anderson was in the room when the shooting occurred, or Nate fired the fatal shots himself.

Nate was interviewed several times after the shooting. He said he'd gone jogging the night of the murder. When he came home, he said he discovered his sister's body. The arrest report detailed how Nate stood in his sister's bedroom doorway. He said he never went inside Amanda's room, but reportedly saw that his sister had been shot more than once in the head.

Investigators concluded that it would have been "impossible for anyone standing in the doorway" to know Amanda had been shot in the head, "let alone how many times".

Authorities tell us, at this point, they have not nailed down a motive for the crime.

Nate Anderson has been charged with murder, and no other charges are expected.

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