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WATCH: Widow wants criminal charges filed in Chad Read’s death

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 11:36 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 2:17 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Chad Read’s widow and her attorney held a news conference on Thursday, to discuss the case, the amended wrongful death lawsuit, and the investigation now being conducted by the Attorney General’s office.

Attorney Tony Buzbee first discussed the case. He said Chad was supposed to have custody of his son starting around 3 p.m. the day of the shooting. He had texted his ex-wife Christina. The attorney made note he has all of the texts between Chad and Christina from that day. Buzbee said Christina purposefully did not tell Chad where his son was, but she did tell him she was at work.

Her work is inside the house on 90th Street owned by Kyle Carruth’s father. There are three businesses operated out of that one address, Buzbee says, according to the Secretary of State. All three of the businesses and Kyle Carruth are being sued by Jennifer Read.

Chad and Jennifer went to the house on 90th Street to find his son.

“He didn’t go looking for an argument. He didn’t take a weapon,” Buzbee said. “While at his wife’s place of business, the two argued. We’ve all seen the video. Chad Read was not violent.”

Buzbee said the video shows Chad kept “quite a distance between himself and his ex-wife.” He said his ex-wife wasn’t violent and Chad didn’t have a gun, they simply argued.

“But for whatever reason, Kyle Carruth decided to go back into his house and get a weapon,” Buzbee said. “(Carruth) doesn’t say when he walks into the house, ‘I’m in danger, you’re taking my property, you’re stealing,’ nothing like that. All he said was, ‘get off my property,’ and he leaves and returns with a weapon.”

“Carruth made a decision to come outside and to interject himself into a conversation he had no part of... with a weapon. We believe that decision was unreasonable and that decision was negligent,” Buzbee said.

Buzbee said, “After the shooting, the shooter did not render aid. Instead, he stood there and as Chad was either dying or was already dead, he stood there and said, ‘I told you to get off my property. He didn’t say, ‘Oh, I shot because I was in danger of my life. I shot because I thought he was going to he was going to hurt me, I shot because I was I was in some sort of fear,’ no. He simply said, ‘I told you so. I told y’all to leave.’”

Jennifer Read, Chad’s widow, read a statement during the news conference but did not take any questions.

She said, “My name is Jennifer Read. I’m blessed to be a Read now. And Chad had two sons and also a daughter that was not there at the time, but she goes to College Station. Chad Read is my husband. He was a good husband and I loved him more than anything in this world. We only went there to try and find his son who we thought would be there. Chad was... Chad was not a violent man. He did not have a gun. I saw Kyle Carruth shoot and kill my husband. Kyle Carruth has not been arrested. Please, please, I asked the police to take action. I ask the Attorney General’s office to take action. I want justice for my husband Chad Read.”

Buzbee asked the public for help. “We are calling on anyone who has knowledge of this situation to come forward. We are calling on anyone who has knowledge of this situation to come forward. And that includes Kyle Carruth’s relationships with others that might impact what happened on November 5. If you have evidence, no matter how small we want to have it, we’re easy to find. If you have texts with Kyle Carruth or any of his relatives, we want them. We believe that there was animosity on the part of Kyle Carruth against Chad Read that existed long before November 5. We believe that there were things said by the perpetrator Kyle Carruth long before November 5, about Chad Read. If you have information or evidence that pertained to interactions with Kyle Carruth, anything he said about Chad Read or the situation that Chad Read’s marriage, we want that. Specifically, we want the texts because we know they exist. As I’ve said we’re calling on the AG’s office to fully investigate this matter vigorously. And we ask that charges be brought if appropriate. We want action. I think it’s pretty clear this family is grieving. They are suffering. They deserve justice. So far, they’ve got nothing. Jennifer Read watched her unarmed husband get gunned down and killed in front of her eyes. We want action.”

Buzbee continued, “Rules are very clear across the United States. Rules are very clear. And most police departments across the country when there’s a shooting and a death, an arrest is made, period. No arrest was made here. Very few people were even questioned. The man who pulled the trigger and killed Chad Read is still walking around in this community. Do you know what his biggest concern was after killing Chad Read? ‘What concessions are we going to bring to the kids game?’”

Buzzbee said there is no judge in this lawsuit for wrongful death because of the recusals, but was told the Ninth Administrative Judicial District is going to appoint a judge sometime next week.

We have not heard from Carruth’s attorney at this time. We’ll add that response as soon as we get it.

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.

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

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