Carruth asks for change of venue, San Antonio judge assigned to cases

Chad Read’s widow files petition to take custody of his children from their mother, releases...
Chad Read’s widow files petition to take custody of his children from their mother, releases video of shooting, provided by attorney for Jennifer Read.(Photo/video provided by Attorney Matthew L. Harris)
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 1:58 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A San Antonio judge has been assigned to the cases against Kyle Carruth involving the deadly shooting of Chad Read on Nov. 5, 2021. This happened six days before Carruth filed motions in his defense to have the cases combined, moved to a new venue, and also stayed until the Attorney General’s Office decides on whether it will present the case to a grand jury.

Court documents filed on Dec. 15, 2021, show the Honorable Sid Harle, Senior Judge of the 226th District Court of out San Antonio has been assigned to the 237th and 72nd District Courts in Lubbock.

Read’s widow Jennifer Read filed a lawsuit against Carruth and his companies claiming wrongful death, seeking $50 million. Then, Chad Read’s mother Jinx Read and three of his children filed a separate suit against him and his businesses, claiming Carruth negligently shot and killed Read. Jinx Read’s suit seeks more than $1 million.

In court other court documents filed on Dec. 21, Carruth filed a motion to transfer the venue of both cases and a motion to consolidate them into one case. The motion asks for the venue to be moved to Smith, Harris, or Cherokee Counties in Texas, or wherever the court finds an impartial trial can be had. Carruth also requests a stay in the case.

The court documents say “Carruth was forced to use deadly force to defend himself, his property and/or others, which caused the death of Chad Read.” It says Carruth repeatedly asked Read to leave the premises. Read did not leave, but instead continued to berate Carruth and his employee, Read’s ex-wife. The court documents also say Read’s widow, Jennifer Read, and her counsel, through their pleadings and various media appearances, have repeatedly pressured relevant authorities to bring criminal charges against Carruth for his actions arising out of the same facts and circumstances as this case.

The court documents show Carruth has not been indicted, but infer the Attorney General’s Office is planning to make a final decision on whether to present the matter to a grand jury in the near future.

Because there is overlap in the civil cases against him, the court documents say a stay is necessary; “there is a significant danger of self-incrimination.” The documents also say “Carruth will encounter the kinds of conflicts and tensions that a stay is precisely designed to prevent” if the civil case was to proceed against Carruth before the Attorney General’s decision was made.

TIMELINE

On Friday, November 5, Lubbock Police found Chad Read, 54, dead at a home in the 2100 block of 90th street. Officials with the police desk told KCBD on November 5 a woman called 911 saying someone shot and killed her husband over custody issues. Police say through the initial course of the investigation, it appears there was a fight between Read and another man related to a domestic incident, and shots were fired.

Minimal information was released by law enforcement in the days immediately following the fatal shooting. The identity of the shooter had not been released. It was five days later, on Nov. 10 when the Lubbock County District Attorney’s Office recused itself from the case, on the grounds that an elected official may be called to testify.

The Lubbock Police Department then issued a statement explaining why the name of the shooter had not been released. “While LPD recognizes there is public interest in this case, there are multiple facets of this ongoing investigation that dictate what can and cannot be released to the public, per Texas state law,” the department said in a statement.

Then on November 16, six days later, the police department transferred its case files to the Texas Attorney General for its review.

On November 19, a court document identified Kyle Carruth as the shooter in the case. That document, signed by Judge Anne-Marie Carruth, was filed as part of her countersuit in the couple’s divorce. She is the judge of the 72nd District Court in Crosby and Lubbock counties.

In the affidavit, according to the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal, Anne-Marie Carruth wrote she was “notified that my husband, William Kyle Carruth, is under investigation for the shooting and killing of his girlfriend’s children’s father after he attempted to pick up his children late Friday afternoon. My knowledge of the incident is very limited at this time, and it is my understanding that the police are still investigating.”

The court documents were sealed when the divorce was finalized, on November 19. Both parties agreed to seal the divorce records and a judge determined the reasons were valid. Sources tell KCBD the divorce was filed in the 99th District Court, however, Judge Phillip Hays recused himself and a visiting judge from Amarillo presided. The judge from Amarillo granted the request to seal the records.

On Wednesday, Nov. 24, Jennifer Read released mobile phone video that shows the argument, and Carruth going into the home then returning armed. Video of the deadly confrontation has spread on social media and has been reported by multiple national news outlets. Along with the video, Jennifer Read’s attorney supplied a petition filed that day showing Jennifer Read, Chad’s widow, is seeking custody of her late husband’s children from their mother.

KCBD spoke to Kyle Carruth’s attorney after the child custody case was filed. Attorney David Guinn says the video “confirms the Lubbock Police’s thorough work reflects this as a justified homicide.” Guinn says Carruth holds a valid defense under the Castle Doctrine, “to defend himself, others or his property,” and they are looking forward to the Attorney General’s Office investigating and presenting the case to a Lubbock grand jury. Guinn says a grand jury could still indict Carruth, but his hope is “upon careful review of the law, they will not,” but it doesn’t mean he can’t be arrested and charged or convicted later.

On Monday, Nov. 29, Jennifer Read, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Kyle Carruth and his company Vitruvian Development LLC. She is seeking $50 million.

She claims Carruth failed to de-escalate the confrontation and used a gun even though no physical threat to life or property existed. The lawsuit states she and Chad Read went to his ex-wife’s place of business trying to find Chad’s youngest son.

The day after Jennifer Read filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Kyle Carruth and his business for the death of her husband Chad Read, the judge presiding over the case recused himself.

An attorney representing Chad Read’s mother and three children filed a lawsuit Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, against William Kyle Carruth and his companies. The suit claims Carruth negligently shot and killed Read on November 5, using deadly force that was not justified, causing mental and emotional anguish and pain, torment, and suffering. This lawsuit was filed in the 72nd District Court, through the standard process cases are assigned. The 72nd District Judge is Anne Marie Carruth. Sources tell KCBD Judge Carruth recused herself from the case.

Also on Monday, Dec. 6, family members of Chad Read announced on social media there will be a news conference involving their attorney Tony Buzbee on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at Noon at the Lubbock County Courthouse.

On Tuesday, Dec. 7, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced his office has begun a criminal investigation into the death of Chad Read. They added in their statement they will not comment on the case to protect the integrity of the investigation. They also noted the AG’s office has received repeated inquiries about a criminal investigation into the shooting. The release states they will gather and review evidence, interview witnesses, and other actions in the investigation process.

Chad Read’s widow and her attorney held a news conference on Thursday, Dec. 9 to discuss the case, the amended wrongful death lawsuit, and the investigation now being conducted by the Attorney General’s office.

On Dec. 15, a judge from San Antonio was assigned to the civil cases filed against Carruth.

On Dec. 21, Carruth files a motion to combine the civil cases, move them to Smith, Harris or Cherokee Counties, but also files for a stay until the Attorney General decides whether to present the case to a grand jury for criminal charges.

There have been no criminal charges or arrests in this case.

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