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Sentencing hearing begins for Virginia man charged with first degree murder

matthew tate.jpg

The sentencing hearing in the case of Commonwealth of Virginia vs. Matthew Wesley Tate begins this morning, that's according to Norton Commonwealth Attorney Chuck Slemp.

29-year-old Matthew Wesley Tate of Norton, pleaded guilty on June 6, 2016 in the Wise County Circuit Court to charges of first degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of murder.

He previously pleaded guilty with no plea agreement from prosecutors.

At today's sentencing hearing, both prosecutors and the defense will have an opportunity to present evidence as to the appropriate sentence in the case. After hearing evidence from both sides, a judge will determine Tate's sentence.

The case is being prosecuted byWise/NortonCommonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp and senior assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Josh Newberry.

Tate faces a maximum penalty of life plus three years in prison.

Tate is charged in the shooting and killing of Kristina Marie Padilla that occurred during a heated argument in Wise in October of 2014.

Wise Police say Padilla was shot seven times.

Her body was found inside the fenced area.

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