How the Nate Anderson case came to a plea deal

Published: Feb. 2, 2012 at 11:37 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2012 at 12:06 AM CST
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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A case that turned an East Texas community upside down is finally over. 16-year-old Nate Anderson is heading to prison.

In Smith County court this afternoon, Anderson pleaded guilty to first degree murder for shooting his 19-year-old sister Amanda Anderson at their Chapel Hill Home in 2010. He was then sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The agreement also means Nate Anderson will be eligible for parole in 10 years, he will get credit for the time he has already spent in custody at the Smith County jail and he has waived his right to appeal.

Nate's attorneys told us entering the plea agreement was in Nate's best interest.
They said neither Nate nor his family ever wanted this case to go to trial.

Nate's plea agreement was months in the making, but something attorneys say wasn't official until just a few days ago.

"Nate gave us permission to negotiate with Mr. Bingham and his office, he gave us permission to divulge the things that we believed would be helpful in resolving his case," says Brett Harrison, one of Nate's attorneys.

One of those things was a psychological exam in which Nate admitted to the crime, but the state needed something else.

"If this was going to be something we entered into, a plea negotiation, he was going to have to tell his parents," says Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham.

In a statement released by Nate and Amanda's parents, Mark Anderson says, "He told me that he took her life by shooting her with a pistol that was in our home. He has asked my forgiveness and I have forgiven him."

Their mother Stacie says, "As a mother who loves both of her children, this has been the most difficult ordeal I have ever experienced."

"He has been remorseful, he has asked for forgiveness and it has been given to him. There have been a lot of difficult conversations and a lot of tears," says Harrison.

"He understands that I'm pursuing what I believe to be justice for Amanda, that in the end, what cannot be forgotten is that Amanda was brutally killed and she is gone forever and that cannot get lost in Nate Anderson," says Bingham.

As far as motive is concerned, Nate's attorneys only said one thing, "I'm not going to go into specific conversations I've had with Nate or anyone on our team, but we know what happened and I'm going to leave it at that," says Harrison.

Nate Anderson is going to be transferred to prison in the next 14 to45 days. We're told until he turns 18 birthday, he will be kept at a penitentiary with other offenders that have been certified as adults. When he turns 18 he'll go to a general maximum security unit housing other offenders of violent crimes.

To view the statements made by Nate's parents, Stacie and Mark Anderson, click here.

To view the PDF document of Matt Bingham's press conference regarding Nate Anderson's plea deal, click here.

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