A 56-year-old Lubbock County man was indicted Tuesday by a grand jury in connection with the Oct. 5 shooting death of a man in a Northeast Lubbock County home.
Kenneth Lee Cate is charged with murder, which carries a punishment of five years to life in prison.
Prosecutors believe Cate intentionally and knowingly shot and killed 55-year-old Daniel Perez at a Lubbock County home in the 8500 block of County Road 2600.
Deputies responding to the scene learned Cate, Perez and another man were drinking at the residence. Cate reportedly told a deputy he and Perez took turns firing a .380-caliber handgun and he shot Perez by accident, according to a search warrant released last month. He said Perez walked in front of him while he was shooting the gun and was struck by a bullet in the abdomen. Deputies reportedly smelled a strong odor of alcohol from Cate.
He told the investigator he called 911 about 15 minutes after Perez was shot and gave no valid reason why he waited so long to call, the warrant states.
Perez was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS.
According to the warrant, investigators believe Cate hid the handgun, which was found inside a camper trailer. Cate denied occupying the trailer but possessed the key that unlocked it.
Deputies collected two other handguns, ammunition and a cellphone at the residence.
Deputies also found a surveillance camera at the residence and the investigator believed, according to the warrant, that it may contain “evidence of any underlying reasons for the shooting.”
Cate was initially booked on a second-degree felony count of manslaughter. He remains jailed at the detention center, according to Lubbock County jail records. His bond is set at $100,000.