Court dismisses Jennifer Read’s custody case
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The court has dismissed a child custody suit where Jennifer Read, Chad Read’s widow, was seeking custody of Chad’s children from their mother Christina Read.
In late November, The attorney for Chad Read’s widow, Jennifer Read, released a statement and video of the shooting that killed 54-year-old Chad Read on Nov. 5. Along with the video, the attorney supplied a petition showing Jennifer Read was seeking custody of her late husband’s children from their mother.
On January 5, 2022, Jennifer’s attorney released a statement stating the court dismissed the custody suit.
The release, in its entirety, is below:
PRESS RELEASE - I have been contacted for an update on Jennifer Read’s child custody suit against Christina Read and asked to respond to recent reports of that suit being dismissed.
Mrs. Read filed an intervention into Chad & Christina Read’s existing suit with the desire to protect the children from their ongoing exposure to their father’s killer. Unfortunately, the Court dismissed that suit, along with her Petition, without a hearing on the merits of the case. That dismissal should not be viewed as condonation by the Court’s of Christina Read’s actions.
Given that dismissal, there are no child custody proceedings that are pending for Chad Read’s sons. Under Texas law, one of the blood-relatives of the children would need to file suit to obtain custody of the children, and it pains Mrs. Read that no family member has yet stepped up to protect these children. Mrs. Read is glad that other family members have joined in her civil suit against Kyle Carruth but wishes that their priorities had been to seek protection of the children first, as she did.
Matthew L. Harris, Esq.
Attorney at Law
On Friday, November 5, Lubbock Police found Chad Read, 54, dead at a home in the 2100 block of 90th street. Officials with the police desk told KCBD on November 5 a woman called 911 saying someone shot and killed her husband over custody issues. Police say through the initial course of the investigation, it appears there was a fight between Read and another man related to a domestic incident, and shots were fired.
Minimal information was released by law enforcement in the days immediately following the fatal shooting. The identity of the shooter had not been released. It was five days later, on Nov. 10 when the Lubbock County District Attorney’s Office recused itself from the case, on the grounds that an elected official may be called to testify.
The Lubbock Police Department then issued a statement explaining why the name of the shooter had not been released. “While LPD recognizes there is public interest in this case, there are multiple facets of this ongoing investigation that dictate what can and cannot be released to the public, per Texas state law,” the department said in a statement.
Then on November 16, six days later, the police department transferred its case files to the Texas Attorney General for its review.
On November 19, a court document identified Kyle Carruth as the shooter in the case. That document, signed by Judge Anne-Marie Carruth, was filed as part of her countersuit in the couple’s divorce. She is the judge of the 72nd District Court in Crosby and Lubbock counties.
In the affidavit, according to the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal, Anne-Marie Carruth wrote she was “notified that my husband, William Kyle Carruth, is under investigation for the shooting and killing of his girlfriend’s children’s father after he attempted to pick up his children late Friday afternoon. My knowledge of the incident is very limited at this time, and it is my understanding that the police are still investigating.”
The court documents were sealed when the divorce was finalized, on November 19. Both parties agreed to seal the divorce records and a judge determined the reasons were valid. Sources tell KCBD the divorce was filed in the 99th District Court, however, Judge Phillip Hays recused himself and a visiting judge from Amarillo presided. The judge from Amarillo granted the request to seal the records.
On Wednesday, Nov. 24, Jennifer Read released mobile phone video that shows the argument, and Carruth going into the home then returning armed. Video of the deadly confrontation has spread on social media and has been reported by multiple national news outlets. Along with the video, Jennifer Read’s attorney supplied a petition filed that day showing Jennifer Read, Chad’s widow, is seeking custody of her late husband’s children from their mother.
KCBD spoke to Kyle Carruth’s attorney after the child custody case was filed. Attorney David Guinn says the video “confirms the Lubbock Police’s thorough work reflects this as a justified homicide.” Guinn says Carruth holds a valid defense under the Castle Doctrine, “to defend himself, others or his property,” and they are looking forward to the Attorney General’s Office investigating and presenting the case to a Lubbock grand jury. Guinn says a grand jury could still indict Carruth, but his hope is “upon careful review of the law, they will not,” but it doesn’t mean he can’t be arrested and charged or convicted later.
On Monday, Nov. 29, Jennifer Read, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Kyle Carruth and his company Vitruvian Development LLC. She is seeking $50 million.
She claims Carruth failed to de-escalate the confrontation and used a gun even though no physical threat to life or property existed. The lawsuit states she and Chad Read went to his ex-wife’s place of business trying to find Chad’s youngest son.
The day after Jennifer Read filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Kyle Carruth and his business for the death of her husband Chad Read, the judge presiding over the case recused himself.
An attorney representing Chad Read’s mother and three children filed a lawsuit Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, against William Kyle Carruth and his companies. The suit claims Carruth negligently shot and killed Read on November 5, using deadly force that was not justified, causing mental and emotional anguish and pain, torment, and suffering. This lawsuit was filed in the 72nd District Court, through the standard process cases are assigned. The 72nd District Judge is Anne Marie Carruth. Sources tell KCBD Judge Carruth recused herself from the case.
Also on Monday, Dec. 6, family members of Chad Read announced on social media there will be a news conference involving their attorney Tony Buzbee on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at Noon at the Lubbock County Courthouse.
On Tuesday, Dec. 7, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced his office has begun a criminal investigation into the death of Chad Read. They added in their statement they will not comment on the case to protect the integrity of the investigation. They also noted the AG’s office has received repeated inquiries about a criminal investigation into the shooting. The release states they will gather and review evidence, interview witnesses, and other actions in the investigation process.
Chad Read’s widow and her attorney held a news conference on Thursday, Dec. 9 to discuss the case, the amended wrongful death lawsuit, and the investigation now being conducted by the Attorney General’s office.
On Dec. 15, a judge from San Antonio was assigned to the civil cases filed against Carruth.
On Dec. 21, Carruth files a motion to combine the civil cases, move them to Smith, Harris or Cherokee Counties, but also files for a stay until the Attorney General decides whether to present the case to a grand jury for criminal charges.
There have been no criminal charges or arrests in this case.
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