KCBD Investigates Discounting Danger: Lubbock residents complain of unwanted communication from accused murderer

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 10:40 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock residents tell the KCBD Investigates Team they have received unwanted communication from an inmate accused of murder.

Jamie Lee Pruett, 49, is in the Lubbock County Detention Center accused of a March 13th shooting that left one person dead and three people injured.

His bond is set at $20 million.

Pruett’s former girlfriend said two days after his arrest, she started receiving messages from him.

She showed us electronic messages, multi-paged handwritten letters and a greeting card Pruett sent her from the detention center.

“I never thought that after shooting four people that they would even let him out of a room to even see daylight, much less, here is a piece of a paper, and here, you can get on the internet and send someone five messages,” she said.

In the first message, Pruett said, “They have me under arrest at Lubbock Detention Center over a suspected shooting that happened in Lubbock. I’m being held on a $15 million cash bond. Wow!”

Shortly after that message, another charge was added and his bond jumped from $15 million to $20 million.

In that message, Pruett asked her to return some of his belongings and ended the letter writing, “You will definitely never have the kids again... so I suggest you sit back and think whose team you’re really on? Who’s always had your back? Let me know. See ya’ later.”

In the communication sent over the next few days, Pruett continued to reference her children.

He also mentioned the police reports she filed against him.

“The police came and saw me about your little charges,” Pruett wrote. “You know you have never been able to match wits with me! Hee, Hee!... No one would waste a bullet.”

Pruett’s former girlfriend showed the messages to a friend who is just as shocked as she is Pruett is allowed to write those letters.

“Why is he able to threaten her? Why is he able to harass her? That is harassment,” her friend said.

One of Pruett’s former co-workers showed us a greeting card he also received from Pruett, which was laced with insults and vulgarity.

We took the stack of mail to Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe who said he was not surprised by what Pruett wrote based on what he heard Pruett say the night of his arrest.

“To me, it comes across exactly how he sounded that evening when he would go on and start railing about somebody,” Rowe said.

The sheriff confirmed that investigators are monitoring Pruett’s mail, but that is not the case for every inmate.

“Just given the volume of it there, unless there is a reason to be watching an individual, no, that stuff is going to sail right through to the post office,” Rowe said.

Letters sent from the Lubbock County Detention Center are in envelopes stamped “inmate correspondence.”

The first time an inmate sends someone an electronic message, the recipient receives an email telling them the inmate wants to communicate. In that initial message, the recipient has the option to accept the communication or block it.

“If you don’t want the stuff, or if you have a concern about it, let us know,” Rowe said. “If you have accepted the invitation for the messaging system, and you don’t want it any longer, let us know and we can get that reversed as well.”

Individuals with a complaint about inmate correspondence can contact the detention center at 806-775-7048 or email LSODetention@Lubbockcounty.gov.

Pruett’s former girlfriend said she never responded to Pruett’s communication, but she did read everything he sent her.

“I kept opening them because I felt like it was for my protection and my kiddos, and their dad, my family,” she said.

After days of consistent communication, she said Pruett’s letters recently stopped.

The KCBD Investigates Team confirmed Pruett was moved out of the detention center’s general population housing and into the Special Housing Unit.

Inmates assigned to this unit spend little time outside of their cells and do not have the same privileges as other inmates.

Rowe said inmates are typically assigned to the Special Housing Unit due to violence or protective custody.

“Given what we have seen him demonstrate so far, I have a pretty good idea of why he is housed where he is,” Rowe said.

Now, it will be up to Pruett and detention center staff to determine if and when he regains access to those privileges.

We asked Pruett’s attorney if he could speak with his client, but our request was denied.