Few situations are more volatile than domestic disputes. That’s exactly what took place prior to in a shooting in Lubbock, Texas earlier this month. A scheduled handoff under a custody agreement escalated when the child was not available at the court-ordered time.
Video of the argument and shooting was released over the weekend and has provoked much discussion regarding the circumstances, especially in light of recent decisions in the Rittenhouse and McMichael cases.
Video of the confrontation is below. The man in the green shirt is Chad Read and appears to be unarmed. He argues with his ex-wife, Christina Read, over the custody arrangements. Christina’s boyfriend, William Carruth attempts to intervene and orders Read off of the property.
When Read doesn’t leave, Carruth retrieves what appears to be a Ruger PC Carbine from the home.
Warning: This video is graphic and uncensored.
This is the Nov. 5 shooting of Chad Read by Kyle Carruth, estranged husband of state judge Ann-Marie Carruth.
No charges have been filed.
— Ryan Chandler (@RyanChandler98) November 24, 2021
This version includes video from another angle, taken from inside the house.
**Graphic video** of Lubbock Texas shooting.
The husband of a judge in Lubbock, Kyle Carruth, killed a man named Chad Read in front of Chad’s 11 year old son. pic.twitter.com/5DCmdyJ9oM
— Michelle ❦ (@MichelleWhitzel) November 27, 2021
Texas has a number of laws covering the use of justifiable deadly force. Carruth has claimed self-defense in the case.
Texas has a range of laws covering the use of deadly force in defense of life and property. Like most states’ laws, they hinge on the reasonable belief of an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm and a reasonable, proportionate response. Application of those terms in any given situation by police, prosecutors, or a jury are always highly subjective.
Note that while Read was angry, he only threatened legal action. No threat of violence is heard on the video. The situation escalated with Carruth produced the carbine. Read then chest bumped him and verbally challenged him.
Read said, “You better ******* use it, ************ because I’ll take it from you.” Carruth then fired a warning shot at Read’s feet. Read then grabbed the carbine and swung Carruth out off the porch into the yard, about 10 feed away. That’s when Carruth raised the gun and shot Read twice, killing him.
Carruth has not yet been arrested or charged in the case. Again, his lawyer is asserting that the shooting was justifiable self-defense.
While I’m certainly no attorney, I wouldn’t want my freedom hanging on the evidence presented in the two videos of what happened that day. The videos can be seen as raising more than reasonable questions of provocation and the degree of imminent threat. Certainly questions enough for a prosecutor and grand jury to charge and indict.
For a thorough analysis of the evidence in the videos by an attorney experienced in firearms and self-defense law, I suggest you read Andrew Branca’s detailed write-up of the Read-Carruth altercation at Legal Insurrection here.