Murder charge dropped against local man

Murder charges against an Overton man in the alleged 2011 shooting of a 29-year-old have been dismissed, as authorities determined he acted in self-defense.

Rusk County District Attorney Micheal Jimerson said Anthony Arterberry, 41, pleaded guilty to the lesser third degree felon in possession of a firearm charge in J. Clay Gossett’s 4th District Court. Arterberry was sentenced to five years by the court.

Arterberry was arraigned Sept. 7, 2011 on first-degree murder charges in connection with the shooting of Carlos Kyle. Kyle was found dead shortly after midnight Sept. 6, 2011, on a rural road outside of Overton.

OPD officers were called about 1 a.m. Sept. 6, 2011, to a location in the 1000 block of North Denman Road, near the Rusk-Smith county line inside the Overton city limits, following a report of a possible dead body along the roadside.

According to an affidavit filed by Texas Ranger Brent Davis, a witness to the alleged murder picked up Carlos Kyle in his vehicle after he had called him for a ride earlier that night.

Witnesses say an argument between Arterberry and Kyle turned violent when the victim initiated gunfire.

“I am dismissing the murder charge because witnesses who were present during the shooting said the victim fired first,” he said. “So, by all accounts, the victim fired first.”

Jimerson said, as a result, there is insufficient evidence for a murder charge against Arterberry.

“Based on all the information gathered during the course of the investigation, I’m certain that the victim fired first,” he said. “Arterberry fired in response to being fired at and, as a result, Kyle was killed in the altercation.”

Jimerson said the duration of the prosecution was a result of the prolonged investigation into the case in an effort to be certain the truth of the events was found.

‘The defense persisted in bringing these issues to our attention as well as talking with all the various witnesses in bringing them before the grand jury,” he said. “But I’m satisfied that we got to the bottom of everything.”

Jimerson and his staff prosecuted the case for the State, with Tyler-based attorney Norman Ladd and Henderson native Matt Thigpen representing the defense. Jimerson also credited the investigation of local, county, and state authorities for their professional handling of the incident.

“This dismissal is not a reflection on Overton Police Department, they did everything by the book in bringing this case to trial,” he said. “They got the witnesses interviewed, and there were several different statements at the outset, but Chief Clyde Carter and his officers did a fine job of gathering the evidence and testimony. They were very much up to the task of handling a suspected murder, in what is normally a very quiet community.”

Texas Penal Code 46.04 states an individual convicted of a felony commits the offense if he possesses a firearm after conviction and before the fifth anniversary of his release from confinement.

A conviction of possession of a firearm by felon is a third degree felony, punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000, confinement in a state jail prison facility for a term between 2-10 years, or both.

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