Jennifer Read Sues Kyle Carruth For Wrongful Death

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Kyle Carruth, Chad Read (courtesy Matthew L. Harris)

The Texas woman who recorded her husband’s death at the hands of his ex-wife’s boyfriend has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the gunman.

Kyle Carruth killed Chad Read on Nov. 5 during an argument in front of Carruth’s house in Lubbock. Chad’s wife, Jennifer Read, captured it on video. She says her husband was murdered; Carruth says he shot Chad in self defense.

Jennifer is accusing Carruth of negligence, civil assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress in her $50 million lawsuit, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Chad and Carruth were fighting over the timing of a custody handover regarding Chad and Christina’s son.

“Defendants owed Chad Read a reasonable duty of care to act as a reasonably prudent person would act under the circumstances,” the lawsuit states, according to the Avalanche-Journal.

“Every Texan has the right to defend themselves and their property — no one, however, has the right to interject themselves into someone else’s conversation, return and bring a gun to an otherwise nonviolent argument, escalate the argument to violence, creating a violent situation, and then shoot and kill an unarmed man,” Jennifer’s attorney Anthony Buzbee said in a statement to the newspaper.

Judge Les Hatch, of the 237th District Court, has filed a motion to recuse himself from the case, and is asking for a district judge from outside Lubbock County to be assigned to the case, according to the Avalanche-Journal.

Carruth’s estranged wife, Ann-Marie Carruth, is a district court judge appointed in January by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to fill a vacancy. On Wednesday, she announced her plans to officially run for the position.

Carruth’s involvement in Chad’s death came to light after Jennifer filed a petition to take custody of the children Chad shared with his ex-wife, Christina Read, who iso also Carruth’s girlfriend and is seen on the video. Jennifer says that the children are in danger simply by being in the presence of the man who killed their father.

Jennifer also said in the filing that Christina and Carruth conspired to either assault or kill Chad.

David Guinn, an attorney for Carruth, has said that his client was acting in self-defense, and cited a video taken from another angle to support this theory.

“Mr. Read had every opportunity to leave,” Guinn said. “He was threatening to others. Police had been called and he knew that, Mr. Carruth came out the door, the gun pointed in the air and told him to leave. Most people would have.”

It is unclear whether there is a criminal investigation into the shooting.

An attorney for Jennifer previously told Law&Crime that a criminal investigation into Carruth was underway. However, the Lubbock County District Attorney’s office told Law&Crime that it has recused itself from the case; questions were directed to Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office. The AG’s office didn’t immediately respond to Law&Crime’s request for information.

According to a report by local NBC affiliate KCBD, the shooting death resulted in “no arrests and a 34-word police report.”

“While it is unique that the [Chad Read] case has been passed on to the Texas Attorney General’s Office due to the Lubbock County DA’s recusal, there is nothing unique about LPD’s investigative process of this case,” Lubbock police said in a statement, according to the television station. “As previously stated, pursuant to Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code, also known as the Public Information Act, suspect information cannot be released unless there is a direct threat to the public, or unless an arrest has been made. Each case investigated by the Lubbock Police Department is based upon the facts present at the time, and actions taken by law enforcement are dependent upon the details of the case.”

Carruth is a longtime pro-gun activist who has represented the Lubbock 2nd Amendment Coalition. In 2015, he went on a local radio talk show to discuss possible gun regulations that were on an upcoming city council agenda.

“Many people view this as a type of incrementalism. I mean, they’re chipping away at our Constitutional rights, little by little,” Carruth said. “They do not have the right to deny citizens the ability to protect themselves in there.”

[Images courtesy Matthew L. Harris.]

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