NewsChannel 11 Learns More Local Ties About Suspected Georgia Killer - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/15/06

NewsChannel 11 Learns More Local Ties About Suspected Georgia Killer

NewsChannel 11 is learning more about the Lubbock man who's now accused of murder out of Georgia. We've learned the history of both Kelsey Ruth and his victim started right here in Lubbock. NewsChannel 11's Kealey McIntire brings us the timeline of Ruth's entire history with law enforcement dating back to 1992.

Kelsey Ruth turned himself into Lubbock authorities shortly before ten o'clock Thursday morning, ending a two-state manhunt. A judge read Ruth his rights and denied bail, saying Georgia authorities will be here soon to take him back east.  

Ruth had no comment for our cameras as he was walked from the Lubbock County Courthouse back to the jail.

NewsChannel 11 went to his mother's home Monday. There, we found police searching the house and the same car that Georgia authorities say Ruth was last seen driving. Now authorities are inspecting this car for blood and a possible murder weapon. They believe Ruth drove more than 1,100 miles from Decatur, Georgia to Lubbock.

Decatur, Georgia is where Tai Morgan's body was found Tuesday. She had been shot in the head. Morgan is Ruth's ex-girlfriend and the mother of his 7-year-old son. We've since learned that Ruth has a history of violence against Morgan.

Ruth's history also ties in with the history of the Lubbock County Courthouse building.  We've learned Ruth's record dates back to 1992 when he was put on probation for criminal mischief and a misdemeanor theft charge. Two years later he was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

The next part of the story picks up at the courthouse. In May of 2000 Ruth jumped out of the third floor courthouse window, trying to escape another set of charges he was about to face. In an interview at the time, Lubbock County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Paul Scarborough said, "He got vocal with a judge, a bailiff removed him from the courtroom and moved him to a jury room to be secure and calm down, he broke away from the bailiff, ran to the end of the room to a bathroom."

Authorities caught up with Ruth minutes later. They found him hiding in a dumpster.

He was in court that day for aggravated assault charges from 2000. Court papers say he hit Tai Morgan in the head with a gun in 1998 and pushed her against a window in 2000. That's the same woman he's accused of shooting and killing in Georgia.

Ruth found himself separated from Morgan after jumping from the courthouse window. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to five years in state prison.

Prosecutor at the time Ashley Cox said, "The defendant escaped from custody by jumping through a third story window of the Lubbock County Courthouse. He is unpredictable, irrational and extremely dangerous to the citizens of Lubbock and the state of Texas."

Less than one year after being released from state prison, Ruth allegedly shot and killed Tai Morris, the same woman he'd been charged with assaulting before.

Ruth is now jailed without bond here in Lubbock and should be taken back to Georgia to face charges for the murder of Tai Morgan.

His mother is Brenda Mitchell, the woman you saw collecting her share of a $36 million Texas Lottery jackpot last week. Late Thursday afternoon, she released this statement: "My sympathies go out to the entire Morgan family. All I know about what happened in Georgia earlier this week is that my grandchildren lost their mom, and I would ask that all involved respect my family's need for privacy during this trying time."

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