Widow of Chad Read files wrongful death suit against Kyle Carruth, judge files recusal

·4 min read

The widow of a Lubbock father shot and killed during an argument over custody of his son is seeking $50 million in damages from the shooter, land developer Kyle Carruth.

Jennifer Read on Monday filed a wrongful death lawsuit accusing Carruth, the ex-husband of 72nd District Judge Anne Marie Carruth, of engaging in negligence and gross negligence, civil assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress, when he shot Chad Read on Nov. 5, at Carruth's property in the 2100 block of 90th Street.

"Defendants owed Chad Read a reasonable duty of care to act as a reasonably prudent person would act under the circumstances," the lawsuit states.

Jennifer Read's attorney, Anthony Buzbee of the Buzbee Law Firm in Houston, said in a statement, “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.”

The Lubbock County Courthouse.
The Lubbock County Courthouse.

Buzbee's office sent a statement clarifying that the amount being sought is $50 million and not $100 million, which was a typo on the petition that was initially filed.

Jennifer Read's lawsuit lists Carruth and his businesses, WC Land Services and Vitruvian Development, as defendants in the lawsuit.

Case details: What we know about fatal shooting of Chad Read and suspect Kyle Carruth

Meanwhile, Les Hatch, the judge 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 the case.

Lawsuit accuses Kyle Carruth of 'needlessly' escalating situation

The lawsuit states Carruth unlawfully shot Chad Read, who was at Carruth's property to pick up his youngest son after his ex-wife, Christina Read, missed the deadline of a court ordered hand off.

The lawsuit states Chad Read was unarmed and never physically harmed his ex-wife during the argument.

"Chad Read and his ex-wife Christina were simply arguing, like they had done many times before," the lawsuit states.

As Read argued with his ex-wife about violating their custody agreement, Carruth "interjected himself" into the argument, entered the residence and returned armed with a rifle, which "needlessly" escalated the situation, the lawsuit states.

Court records: Kyle Carruth linked to deadly south Lubbock shooting

Jennifer Read recorded the shooting and released it to local media as part of an intervening lawsuit she filed to obtained custody of her step children. That intervening lawsuit has been dismissed.

In the video, Kyle Carruth can be heard telling Read to leave the property before retrieving his rifle. Chad Read and Kyle Carruth began to argue with Read daring Carruth to use his weapon. The two can be seen pushing against each other until Carruth fires a shot on the ground at Read's feet.

Read can be seen pulling the weapon from Carruth. During the struggle, Read pushes away Carruth, who is thrown off a few feet, spins around and fires twice at Read, who drops to the ground.

"Even though the two men briefly struggled, Chad Read was no longer within arm's distance of Carruth when the killing shot was fired, the lawsuit states.

Dig deeper: Widow releases video of Chad Read's fatal shooting in South Lubbock

Before the video ends, Kyle Carruth can also be heard telling Jennifer Read, "None of you all should be here. I asked you to leave. I did everything ... I did not want to do any of this."

Jennifer Read's lawsuit states Carruth was not acting in self defense and failed to de-escalated the situation and brandished a firearm when there was no threat to anyone's life or property.

"Kyle Carruth was the aggressor, who needlessly escaladed an otherwise nonviolent situation, leading tot he wrongful death of Chad Wayne Read," the lawsuit states.

No arrests were made in the shooting and no criminal charges have been filed in the case.

However, investigators with the Lubbock Metropolitan Special Crimes Unit have turned over their files to the Texas Attorney General's Office, who is handling any potential prosecution in the case after Lubbock County District Attorney Sunshine Stanek recused her office from the case, citing that the suspect in the shooting was related to a local elected official who could be called as a witness.

This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Chad Read shooting: Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Kyle Carruth

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting