A witness of the shooting said it stemmed from a simple conflict, not anything gang or drug related, according to the police document.
TYLER, Minn. — A Tyler man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge in connection with a October 2020 shooting that killed a Bullard man.
Tommy Pettigrew III, 23, was originally charged with murder on Oct. 28, 2020 in connection with the shooting death of Christopher Bolden, 39, of Bullard. He has been in the Smith County Jail since his arrest on a $500,000 bond.
On Friday, Smith County judicial records show Pettigrew was indicted on a lesser charge of criminal negligent homicide, which carries a punishment range between 180 days and two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Pettigrew entered a guilty plea to the criminal negligent homicide in the 241st District Court Tuesday afternoon. He then received a 10-year prison sentence, according to court records.
Because a deadly weapon was used in the offense, the charge rose to a third-degree felony, which has a maximum punishment of 10 years, according to the Texas Penal Code.
He will receive 504 days of credit for time served in the county jail.
The shooting occurred in the 2300 block of Cecil Avenue in Tyler on Oct. 11, 2020 at Pettigrew’s residence.
Bolden was hospitalized and pronounced brain dead on Oct. 16. Tyler police later stated he died on Oct. 19.
According to an arrest affidavit, Bolden was hanging out at the home of Pettigrew, his girlfriend and their 2-year-old daughter on Oct. 11. Pettigrew’s girlfriend told the detective Bolden was there with his girlfriend, but he decided to leave after “getting a bad vibe.”
Before Bolden left, he and Pettigrew shook hands and took a shot of alcohol together, the girlfriend said, adding that they seemed to be cool with each other, the affidavit read.
Bolden later returned to Pettigrew’s house party, where he and his girlfriend argued over their child. Pettigrew then went outside and told Bolden he didn’t want drama at his house, according to the affidavit.
Bolden and Pettigrew started to “tussle” in the driveway. Pettigrew’s girlfriend said the men were fighting and she heard a gunshot. Pettigrew gave her the gun and asked her to call an attorney he’s used in the past, the document stated.
The girlfriend said she was scared and didn’t know what to do with the gun. Pettigrew drove off in his truck, and she left the house with their daughter and dog in her personal vehicle. She told the detective she threw Pettigrew’s gun on the side of the road. She later showed a detective where she dropped the gun, the affidavit read.
A witness of the shooting said the incident stemmed from a simple conflict, not anything gang or drug related, according to the police document.