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Chad Read Shooting: Evidence Supports Manslaughter, Not Justification

Chad Read Shooting: Evidence Supports Manslaughter, Not Justification

Neither self-defense, defense of dwelling, nor defense of property appear to justify this shooting

Today I’d like to take a look at a shooting out of Lubbock TX that is suddenly getting a great deal of news and social media coverage—the shooting death of Chad Read by William Carruth.

As is so often the case, there is, unfortunately, a lot of confusion about how to understand the use-of-force legal issues in this case, with a great deal of misunderstanding of both the relevant law and how it should reasonably apply to the facts of this case.  In addition, there’s a great deal of weight being put on factors that are, really, irrelevant to a proper use-of-force legal analysis.

So, hopefully, we can bring some clarity of understanding to this event, at least in the use-of-force law context.

Overview of the Facts & Video

First, a quick overview of the facts of the Chad Read shooting. It appears that Read was upset because his ex-wife, at the Carruth home, had failed to deliver their son to Read for his scheduled custody transfer.  While in the front yard, and later front porch, of the Carruth home, Read shouted and postured angrily at his ex-wife.  Carruth ordered the angry Read off his property, a command with which Read declined to comply.

Carruth entered his home and emerged a moment later back onto the front porch carrying a carbine (a pistol-caliber long gun), presumably to attempt to compel Read to comply with his command to leave the property.

The appearance of the carbine instead escalated the confrontation, with Read jumping up onto the front porch, leading to the two men chest-bumping each other.  Read then reached for the carbine, and appears to have used the leverage of the long gun to sling Carruth several feet off his own front porch.

As Carruth came to a back-pedaling stop some 10 feet or so from the porch and from Read, he raised his carbine and fired two shots into Read.  Read dropped like a sack of potatoes, presumably the result of a hit on his central nervous system, and would succumb to the gunshot wounds.

I’ll start by saying upfront that this could very well have been a lawful use of deadly defensive force by Carruth—but also that I can’t make that justified call based solely on the two cell phone videos that have been widely circulating.  Also, I should note that this particular analysis is based solely on what I can see in those videos—as in any use-of-force case, additional information can result in a large change in analysis and legal outcome.

Given that everything discussed in this analysis is based on those two videos, I’ll embed them right here, so as to avoid confusion as to what I’ll be referring to.  One of the videos of the confrontation between Carruth and Read appears shot from the direction of the Carruth home, and I’ll refer to that one as “Carruth from House,” and the other appears shot from a pickup truck in front of the home, and I’ll refer to that one as “Carruth from Truck.”

Carruth from House Video

Carruth from Truck Video

I should also note that there are essentially three grounds under which the Carruth shooting of Read might be legally justified.

The first is defense of persons, so self-defense or defense of others.

The second is defense of highly-defensible property, in this context Carruth’s home.

The third is defense of mere personal property—here Texas is unique in that it does allow for the use of deadly force in defense of mere personal property under limited circumstances.

Unfortunately, I don’t see evidence in these two videos of Carruth being justified in the shooting death of Read under any of those three legal justifications.

Let’s take a look at each in turn.

Defense of Persons:  Self or Others

The most important thing to understand in the context of defense of persons, in this case, is that the critical moment is when Carruth makes the decision to fire the two fatal shots into Read.

At that moment in time, when that decision is made, were the conditions for the use of deadly force in defense of self or others satisfied?  If so, we have a lawful use of deadly defensive force.

If those conditions were not satisfied, however, we’re looking at murder, meaning an intentional and unjustified homicide, or perhaps voluntary manslaughter, meaning a murder mitigated under circumstances of adequate provocation.

The conditions that must be met for deadly force in defense of persons under Texas law are found in a pair of penal code statutes, Penal Code §9.31 and § 9.32.

The first of these, § 9.31. Self-defense, sets out the conditions for the use of any degree of defensive force in self-defense, meaning in both contexts primarily non-deadly defensive force (incidentally, § 9.33. Defense of third person sets out similar conditions for defense of others).

The second, § 9.32. Deadly force in defense of person, requires that first all the conditions of § 9.31 are met, and then sets out additional conditions that must be met for the use of deadly defensive force.

Somewhat confusingly, each of those defense of persons statutes also includes Texas law on the use of force and deadly force (respectively) in the context of highly-defensible property, defined under Texas law as one’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment.  I’ll address those portions of these statutes when I cover highly-defensible property, separately from our discussion here of defense of persons.

In Texas, as in 39 other states, there are four elements of any claim of self-defense:  Innocence, Imminence, Proportionality, and Reasonableness.  I’ll speak to each of those in a moment.

A possible fifth element of self-defense law, Avoidance, which speaks to the issue of whether there’s a legal duty to retreat if safely possible, is irrelevant here on at least two grounds.

First, the event took place in Texas, and Texas is a “hard” stand-your-ground state.  That means that not only does Texas not impose a legal duty to retreat in an otherwise lawful case of self-defense, the jury is not permitted to even consider the possibility that retreat might have been safely possible.

Avoidance is also likely irrelevant on the facts of this particular case on the grounds that the confrontation occurred within the curtilage of Carruth’s home—but “curtilage” is an ambiguous legal concept in the context of use-of-force law, which I’ll address in more detail when I cover defense of highly-defensible property as a possible justification for this shooting.

With Avoidance presumptively off the table here, we’re left with the other four elements:  Innocence, Imminence, Proportionality, and Reasonableness.  That is, the critical question is whether at the moment that Carruth made the decision to fire the shots at Read, was Read presenting as a reasonably perceived unlawful, imminent, deadly force threat to Carruth or others.

Naturally, there’s a lot happening at the scene prior to Carruth’s decision to fire the shots into Read, and much of that is important context, part of the totality of the circumstances, that goes into a reasonable assessment of an unlawful, imminent, deadly force threat.

It’s important to understand, however, that the prior events, that other context, is not by itself sufficient to justify the shooting of Read—for the shooting of Read to be justified he must still have been presenting, in the moment Carruth decided to shoot him, as an unlawful, imminent, deadly force threat.

Whatever Read might have done even moments prior to Carruth deciding to shoot him, in that moment the decision was made to shoot, was Read presenting as a reasonably perceived unlawful, imminent, deadly force threat?

So, was he?

Well, if all we have to go are these two videos, and that’s our premise for this analysis, the answer can only be:  It sure doesn’t look like it.

The “Video from Truck” video isn’t at all helpful on this question, because Read is off-frame to the left at the moment Carruth raises his carbine and fires the two fatal shots, an act we can presume is largely simultaneous with the decision to fire.

The “Video from House” video does have Read in frame at that moment, showing his back to the POV of the phone—and here I see nothing that would allow for a reasonable perception of Read as an unlawful, imminent, deadly force threat at that moment.

Specifically, Read does not appear to be armed with a projectile weapon, such as a gun of his own, and whatever impact weapons he might have (presumably really just personal impact weapons, such as his fists and feet) cannot be brought immediately to bear at the distance that separates the two men, and Read does not appear to be making any effort to close that distance.

For those wondering about the Tueller Drill, often if mistakenly referred to as the “21-foot-rule,” that’s, unfortunately, a widely misunderstood use-of-force concept and one that is often mistakenly believed to have much broader application than is actually the case.  (The same is largely true of the Castle Doctrine, which I’ll discuss in the context of highly-defensible property.)

Let’s grant for purposes of argument, without having to take a tape measure to the actual scene of the shooting, that when the shots are fired the two men are well within 21 feet of each other, perhaps about 10 feet apart,  such that the Tueller Drill is at least theoretically applicable.

The lesson of the Tueller Drill, however, is not that you can simply shoot any scary person who is within 21 feet of you.  The lesson of the Tueller Drill is that a person presenting as an imminent threat can close on a defender within that distance in roughly 1.5 seconds, generally faster than a uniformed officer can present a holstered service pistol and begin scoring center-mass hits on the advancing aggressor. So the advancing aggressor can be on the officer before the officer can implement effectively defensive force.

I suggest, however, that this simplified paradigm is not applicable to the facts of this case, at least not in that simplified form.

Here we’re not dealing with a defender who needs to clear a holstered pistol.  We’re dealing with a defender who has his muzzle on the target.  That means the defender requires not 1.5 seconds to begin scoring center-mass hits but perhaps 0.2 seconds.  So the relevant Tueller distance on the facts of this case is not how much distance can be crossed in 1.5 seconds, the “Tueller Drill” distance, but rather how much distance can be crossed in 0.2 seconds.

Well, 0.2 seconds is 13% of 1.5 seconds, and if we calculate 13% of 21 feet we get 2.75 feet.  I don’t know for a fact how far apart Carruth and Read are when the shots are fired, but I expect we can all agree that the distance is greater than 2.75 feet.

Therefore, at the moment the shots are fired Read is nowhere near “inside” the relevant Tueller Drill distance that would apply to the facts of this case.

More importantly, however, there is no evidence I see from the “Video from House” that indicates that Read made even the slightest effort to close on Carruth at all.  And if there’s no apparent effort to close, the Tueller Drill distance is entirely irrelevant.

But what about all the other stuff that just happened?  The chest-bumping, the threat by Read to take Carruth’s gun and use it against him, the swinging of Carruth off his own porch by the angry Read?

All of that is relevant context to assessing the degree of threat being offered in the moment the shots are fired—but they don’t replace the need for some actual immediate degree of threat in the moment.

None of those facts—not the chest-bumping, not the prior threat, not the swinging off the porch—are sufficient either alone or cumulatively to justify this shooting, if Read was in fact offering no reasonably apparent imminent threat of deadly force harm in the moment the shots were fired.

And it does not appear that Read was, in fact, offering a reasonably apparent imminent threat of deadly force harm in the moment the shots were fired.  It appears he was simply standing in place.

Now, all that prior conduct would certainly be relevant to assessing even the smallest apparent immediate threat being offered by Read.  If the video showed Read even shifting his weight towards Carruth, or towards some other innocent person, or towards the entrance to Carruth’s home, even that modest conduct of a mere shift of weight becomes effectively amplified by the prior conduct—the aggressive chest-bumping, the threat to take the gun and use it, the forcible removal of Carruth from his own porch.

Had Carruth brought his carbine up, and there was the slightest indication that Read was moving in an aggressive manner at all, I think his shooting of Read would have been entirely justifiable.

But I do not see in these videos any such aggressive movement by Read at all in the moment that Carruth shot him.  And absent an actually occurring imminent threat in the moment, all the prior conduct is just that—prior conduct.

You can’t shoot a guy solely because a few moments before he was aggressively chest-bumping you, you can’t shoot a guy solely because a few moments ago he was threatening to take your gun and use it against you, you can’t shoot a guy solely because a few moments ago he swung you off your front porch—none of those acts, alone or cumulatively, justify the use of deadly defensive force in the absence of a reasonably perceived unlawful, imminent, deadly force threat at the moment you fire the shots.

That said, there certainly appear to be moments in the confrontation prior to the actual shots being fired when Carruth would appear to have had all the justification he needed to use deadly defensive force upon Read.

In particular, there’s a moment in the “Video from Truck,” right at 1:05 seconds in my version embedded above, when Read reaches for Carruth’s carbine only moments after threatening to take the carbine from Carruth in order to use it against him.  Here’s a screen capture of that moment when Read’s left hand is moving upward toward the carbine as he’s focused his eyes on the apparent grab attempt:

In response to this aggressive act by Read, Carruth takes a step back, lowers the muzzle towards the ground, and appears to fire a warning shot near Read’s feet.

Had Carruth instead taken a step back, leveled the muzzle at Read, and in that moment shot him dead rather than merely firing a warning shot, I’d suggest he would have been fully justified in that use of deadly defensive force.  In that moment Read was presenting as an unlawful, imminent, deadly force threat.

But particularly with respect to the Imminence of a threat, Imminence comes and Imminence goes.  Think of it as a window:  the window of Imminence opens, and then it closes.  Before it opens, defensive force is not justified.  After it closes, defensive force again is not justified.  If defensive force is going to be used and be lawful, it must occur during that transient period when the window of Imminence is open.

The fact that the threat might have previously been Imminent, even just moments before, is not sufficient if the threat is not still presenting as Imminent at the moment the defensive force is used.

In other words, the fact that Carruth might have been fully justified in shooting Read as Read was reaching for his carbine, does not mean he was still justified in shooting Read dead at some later time, even just moments later, if at that later time Read was no longer presenting as an Imminent threat.

And I don’t see Read presenting as an Imminent threat in the moment that Carruth shoots him, whatever might have happened previously, either as a threat to Carruth or to any other innocent person present.

Might Read have gone on to present as an Imminent threat?  Might he have been about to shift his body weight to advance on Carruth or some other innocent person present?  Perhaps—but speculation is not enough to support a use of defensive force, especially not a use of deadly defensive force.

Carruth cannot simply imagine that Read might have done this or done that, Carruth must have based any such belief on a reasonable interpretation of actual evidence—again, even a shift of body weight could be enough in this context, but there must be actual evidence that is more than pure imagination.

Is it possible that a witness of this event might provide such evidence in the form of testimony, or that a home security camera might yield a third video perspective that would provide exactly the evidence needed to support a reasonable perception of imminent threat on the part of Carruth?  Sure—as always, additional information can yield very different outcomes from any legal analysis. But I’ve not seen such evidence, and don’t find it in these two videos.

Based on what these two videos offer, then, in terms of evidence of the circumstances as they existed at the moment that Carruth fires the two fatal shots into Read, it’s not at all clear to me that this shooting was legally justified, because it’s not at all clear to me that in that moment Read was presenting as a reasonably perceived unlawful, imminent, deadly force threat.

In the context of a legal justification of this shooting of Read by Carruthers as lawful defense of self or others, I don’t see either of those justifications supported by the evidence of these videos.  Based solely on this video evidence alone, the shooting of Read could well simply have been an act of murder, or voluntary manslaughter if we consider the conduct of Read under these circumstances as adequate provocation of Carruth to mitigate murder to manslaughter.

Defense of Highly Defensible Property

Another possible basis for the shooting death of Read by Carruth to have been legally justified is that the shooting occurred in the context of defense of highly-defensible property.

Specifically, Texas law provides for a legal presumption that when a person is defending against an unlawful and forcible intruder into occupied highly-defensible property, that defender is legally presumed to have possessed a reasonable fear of imminent, deadly force harm.  This legal presumption can be found in both the base self-defense statute at § 9.31(a) and the deadly force self-defense statute at § 9.32(b).

These legal presumptions of reasonable fear in the context of highly-defensible property are wonderful because they essentially give the defender almost all the elements needed to justify a use of deadly defensive force, particularly the elements of Imminence, Proportionality, and Reasonableness.  (The element of Avoidance is already off the table in an otherwise lawful case of self-defense, for reasons previously discussed.)

The only element not explicitly presumed by this provision is the element of Innocence, and that’s rather “baked into the cake” when we’re talking about someone inside their highly-defensible property who is defending against an unlawful and forcible intruder into that property.

There’s no question that Carruth’s home, outside which this confrontation occurred, qualifies as highly-defensible property for this purpose under Texas law—Carruth’s occupied vehicle or place of business or employment would similarly have qualified as highly-defensible property.

Here’s the difficulty for Carruth in this context, however—at the decisive moment when he fired the shots into Read, Carruth was not inside his highly-defensible property—he was standing outside it—and there is no evidence I can discern from these videos that Read was making any effort at all to unlawfully and forcibly enter Carruth’s highly-defensible property.

Absent those two conditions of the legal presumption provision, Carruth does not qualify for the legal presumption of having had a reasonable fear of imminent deadly force harm, at the moment he fired the fatal shots into Read.

Had Carruth waited inside his home, and Read had attempted to unlawfully and forcibly enter the home, Carruth would have been fully entitled to that legal presumption of a reasonable fear of imminent, deadly force harm—but that’s not what happened here.

I know, I know, I can hear the screams of “But Muah Castle Doctrine!!!!!” from here.  Doesn’t the “Castle Doctrine” apply just as much to the curtilage of the home as it does to inside the home’s four walls?!?!?

First, a quick definition of “curtilage.”  Curtilage is the area immediately around your home that is part of the normal day-to-day use of the home.  I caution that most of the law on curtilage has been developed around Fourth Amendment search-and-seizure law, meaning when is the government required to obtain a warrant in order to conduct a search for and seizure of evidence, and that the scope of curtilage for that context is not the same as the scope of curtilage in the use-of-force context, because it serves different purposes in each context (in the use-of-force context curtilage is much more constrained).

For purposes of this discussion, however, it would certainly seem that the position on the front porch and immediately off the front porch would easily place this confrontation well within the curtilage of Currath’s home.

So, wouldn’t the Castle Doctrine generally apply to Currath’s use of force upon Read within this curtilage?

The short answer is, yes. The long answer is it doesn’t matter, and if you think it does that’s probably because you imagine the Castle Doctrine to mean things that it does not mean.

Properly understood, the Castle Doctrine does one thing, and one thing only—it relieves the home defender of any otherwise existing generalized legal duty to retreat that might otherwise apply before the defender would be privileged to use defensive force.

That is, if the defender would have had a legal duty to retreat before acting in self-defense while standing out in the middle of a public street, the defender is relieved of that duty—it no longer applies—if the defender is instead inside his home or within the curtilage of the home.

That is all the Castle Doctrine does, relieve an otherwise existing duty to retreat. Period.  It does not allow for the use of greater force than otherwise warranted, it does not allow for the use of force sooner or later than otherwise warranted, it does not provide a legal presumption that your perceptions are reasonable, it certainly does not allow for the use of deadly defensive force in the absence of a reasonably perceived unlawful, imminent, deadly force threat.

I will note that the phrase “Castle Doctrine” is often used, sometimes even by lawyers and judges, as if it meant all those things in that previous paragraph.  The people doing so are wrong as a strictly technical matter, and generally if questioned closely will be revealed to be using “Castle Doctrine” in an overly broad sense to refer to other, distinct legal doctrines such as the legal presumption of reasonableness, which we’ve already discussed.

Sloppy use of legal terms of art that have specific technical, and often quite narrow, meaning can only lead to confusion in analysis and communication, and that’s a common outcome when people, however well-credentialed and intended, use Castle Doctrine in an overly broad manner.

So all the Castle Doctrine and the curtilage could do for Carruth here is relieve him of an otherwise existing generalized legal duty to retreat before acting in self-defense.

But so what? Carruth already has no legal duty to retreat in an otherwise lawful case of self-defense under Texas’ very aggressive “hard” stand-your-ground law—so the Castle Doctrine and curtilage are not granting him anything he didn’t already have.

So, absent Read presenting as a reasonably perceived unlawful, imminent, deadly force threat at the moment Carruth shot him dead, Castle Doctrine and curtilage do nothing on the facts of this case to justify that shooting.

Really, just a plain English reading of the legal presumption language makes clear that it would be inapplicable where the “intruder” is merely within the curtilage outside the home, and that the legal presumption applies only to a breach of the physical structure of the highly-defensible property itself.

First, the requirement that the highly-defensible property be occupied suggests the context is about protecting people inside the property, not outside the property.   Second, it explicitly requires that the entry be both unlawful and forcible, meaning something was broken to gain entry.  Nothing was broken by Read to gain access merely to the curtilage of Carruth’s front yard or porch, and there’s no indication he was attempting to make an unlawful and forcible entry of the home itself.

Bottom line, Carruth does not qualify for the legal presumption of reasonable fear that applies to a person within highly-defensible property defending against an unlawful and forcible intruder into that property, and the legal doctrines of the “Castle Doctrine” and curtilage do nothing to change that.

So, there’s no justification for this shooting based on defense of highly defensible property.

Defense of Mere Personal Property

Texas is unique among the 50 states in that it has a legal provision that allows for the use of deadly defensive force in the defense of mere personal property. In the other 49 states, deadly defensive force may be used only in defense of innocent human life, either as a purely factual matter or on the grounds of a legal presumption of a threat to innocent human life.

Like the self-defense statutes already discussed, the Texas statute allowing for the use of deadly defensive force is also found in the Penal Code, under § 9.42. Deadly force to protect property. In fact, also like the self-defense statutes, § 9.42 is really paired with § 9.41. Protection of one’s own property.  Penal Code § 9.41 sets forth the conditions for the use of non-deadly force in defense of personal property, and then § 9.42 sets forth additional conditions that must be met to justify the use of deadly force in defense of personal property.

That said, while § 9.42 does have a unique provision for the use of deadly force in defense of merely personal property, it is not simply a license to shoot dead anybody committing simple trespass on your property, nor is it without a great number of conditions that must be met—and failure of any of these conditions strips away the justification for the use of deadly force and leaves the defender who fatally shot a purported property offender as simply an unlawful killer.

Among other conditions, § 9.42 allows for the use of deadly defensive force in the context of mere personal property only to prevent the imminent commission of specific enumerated offenses, specifically arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime.

These events did not take place during the nighttime, so theft and criminal mischief are off the table as a justification for Carruth’s use of force in this case, even in defense of mere personal property under § 9.42.

Further, I see no evidence by which a reasonable person could infer that Read was attempting an imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, or aggravated robbery.

With those conditions of §9.42 unsatisfied, Carruth would seem to have no grounds for attempting to justify his shooting of Read as a lawful use of deadly force in defense of mere personal property under Texas law.

Looks Like Manslaughter, Not Justified Killing

In conclusion, based solely on these two videos I fail to see a justification for Carruth’s shooting of Read as lawful defense of either self or others, as lawful defense of highly-defensible property, or as lawful defense of mere personal property.

Which would seem to leave Carruth with no justification at all for his shooting Read dead.

An unjustified intentional killing of another is generally simply first-degree murder.  That murder offense can, however, be mitigated to the lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter if the killer is believed to have been subject to “adequate provocation,” such that the decision to kill was not made in cold blood.  And certainly, I would expect a reasonable jury to accept a narrative of Read having adequately provoked Carruth on the facts of this case, given the circumstances and Read’s own aggressive conduct.

Similar mitigation would occur under the legal doctrine of imperfect self-defense, also recognized by Texas courts, where the defender has a genuine but objectively unreasonable perception of the need to use deadly force in self-defense.

Still, both of those merely mitigate murder to voluntary manslaughter, not an acquittal.

Once again, I caution that this analysis is based solely on the two videos embedded at the start—additional information could well yield a different conclusion.

Finally, I should also mention that whether William Carruth is technically criminally liable for the shooting death of Chad Read—and he appears to my eye to be liable, on the legal merits, at least based on these two videos—is a completely distinct question from whether he will ultimately be arrested, prosecuted, or convicted.

Prosecutors have essentially unlimited discretion on all these steps of the criminal justice process, and they are entirely free to decline to prosecute even in cases where the legal merits would support a conviction.

UPDATE [11/27/21]: Received this comment over on my YouTube channel re: this analysis:

OK, folks, that’s all I have for you on this topic.

Until next time:

Remember

You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.

Know the law so you’re hard to convict.

Stay safe!

–Andrew

Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC

Nothing in this content constitutes legal advice. Nothing in this content establishes an attorney-client relationship, nor confidentiality. If you are in immediate need of legal advice, retain a licensed, competent attorney in the relevant jurisdiction.

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Comments

Russ from Winterset | November 27, 2021 at 6:38 pm

Not a lawyer, but I would assume that Read being there for a scheduled custody transfer would pretty badly damage Carruth’s self defense claims. Unless Texas has gone waaaaay down the “I shot him because he’s a douchebag” rabbit hole.

    Sure looks like murder to me. Dad was unarmed. While he did move closer to female in white hoodie he kept a good distance from her. The boyfriend was the one to escalate things. He calmly goes into house which is a clear retreat (meaning he was out of danger). He then returns WITH A GUN. Now that is aggression. He confronts Dad, toe-to-toe, chin-to-chin. Real aggression including firing a round at Dad’s feet. Dad moves away from everyone. Boyfriend moves away but as he does so he raises the rifle as he’s retreating (!!!).

      tom_swift in reply to fscarn. | November 28, 2021 at 8:13 am

      He confronts Dad, toe-to-toe, chin-to-chin.

      That’s not what I see. I see Green Shirt Guy confronting Gun Guy, charging at him onto the porch of his house, and subjecting him to low-level physical assault (and pushing him around, albeit with his body rather than his hands, is just that).

      I see no great problem with someone standing on his own porch with a gun, if he’s legally allowed to possess it. It’s not the optimal move, but that doesn’t make it a crime, nor does it signal intent to commit a crime.

      This all falls in the category of “stupid” crimes, in the sense that more than one party has to be acting remarkably unwisely for it to happen at all. The presence of the gun, while legal in my book, seems superfluous in this situation and can’t possibly make anything better. And charging and threatening a man holding a gun is even worse than unwise; it’s downright suicidal.

        What you say is all well and good if boyfriend had not gone into the house and returned with the gun. The presence of the gun changed the whole tone.

          tom_swift in reply to pfg. | November 28, 2021 at 1:12 pm

          Before he was shot, all of the physical aggression was committed by Green Shirt Guy. The verbal aggression – ordering Green Shirt Guy to get off his property, etc – was committed by Rifle Guy. Verbal aggression doesn’t justify a forcible defense. But physical aggression might – hence the demand for lawyers and juries.

          The presence of the rifle is not why Green Shirt Guy ended up dead. The rifle didn’t just jump up on its own and blast away. The advantage of leaving the rifle indoors is that it would make it harder for the antagonistic parties to follow their mutual poor judgement with regrettable violence. But by itself, the presence of the rifle was not the deciding factor in this incident.

        Billy Jack in reply to tom_swift. | November 28, 2021 at 5:21 pm

        I see great problems in someone going to get a firearm to bolster their case in an argument.

        The only threat before he came out with the firearm was to take them all to court.

    Am I the only one who thinks Read’s wife/girlfriend or whatever set him up to get whacked?

I fully support getting my gun when there is a burglar on the property, and firing if he tries to break down the door or window.

But a divorcing couple feuding over the kids is different. I’ve dealt with a number of messy divorcing couples, and bringing out a gun is the worst thing you could possibly do. And if you normally carry concealed, keep it concealed and don’t mention it. You can threaten lawsuits if it makes you feel better, but don’t threaten with a gun.

    willford2 in reply to OldProf2. | November 27, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    Someone comes on your property and throws off your porch Are you gonna cower? The person grabs at your weapon you cower again

      mbecker908 in reply to willford2. | November 27, 2021 at 8:02 pm

      1. He shows up and raises his voice in calling the popo.
      2. I’m staying inside and doing my best to keep everybody inside.
      3. My pistol, which is always on my hip, stays bolstered UNLESS he breaks into the house.

      Rules for life: stay away from stupid people; stay away from stupid places; don’t do stupid things

      Dathurtz in reply to willford2. | November 27, 2021 at 8:04 pm

      I don’t think it is moral to shoot someone over wounded pride or self-image.

      Russ from Winterset in reply to willford2. | November 27, 2021 at 9:24 pm

      Read mentions in the “truck video” that he had called the police to come out. My thought is that the guy who calls for the police to intervene gets some benefit of the doubt on initiating things. And after the homeowner fired a round into the porch? Wouldn’t that be a provocation of Read?

      Observer in reply to willford2. | November 30, 2021 at 5:05 pm

      Someone comes on your property and throws off your porch Are you gonna cower? The person grabs at your weapon you cower again
      ___________

      Context matters. If this had been a stranger on the porch, Carruth getting the gun would have made more sense. But Carruth knew who Read was, and that he was there to pick up his son, in accordance with the custody agreement with the ex-wife. Carruth could also see that Read was keeping his distance from the ex-wife during his argument with her over her failure to have their son available for the pick-up, and that Read was not threatening either the ex-wife or anybody else with any physical violence. Carruth is the one who escalated the situation when he came out with the gun. Nobody is saying that Carruth had to cower, but he should have exercised some damn common sense in this situation. Read wasn’t threatening anybody until Carruth came out with the gun and started acting like a jerk.

    texansamurai in reply to OldProf2. | November 27, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    I’ve dealt with a number of messy divorcing couples, and bringing out a gun is the worst thing you could possibly do. And if you normally carry concealed, keep it concealed and don’t mention it. You can threaten lawsuits if it makes you feel better, but don’t threaten with a gun.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    amen–excellent advice

      I seriously want to horse whip parents who violate parenting plans.

      Boiling them in oil is too good for them.

        Thanks. I realized early on that in a tug-o-war with the ex, the kids are the rope. Lest they be harmed, I let go.

        The only thing that kept me from doing what I wanted to do at the time, was my kids loved their mom even as f’d up she was, and, I couldn’t figure out where to hide her body. That was my hell on earth – dealing with nuclear-grade anger toward my ex – and dealing with the pain of my kids whom she turned against me – until one by one they came to see for themselves and returned to me. They want nothing to do with their mom any more.

        sbozich in reply to Andy. | November 28, 2021 at 11:25 am

        Agreed. But in this case the better part of valor would have been to leave the property, wait for the police, and, if nothing else, have the police conduct an investigation, collect facts, and write a report.
        Then bring that report to the court as evidence that she is violating the terms of the custody agreement.

          JRaeL in reply to sbozich. | November 28, 2021 at 7:13 pm

          I am not sure how it works in Texas but I believe that in Florida you can present your custody order to the sheriff and that office will take appropriate steps to make sure it is complied with. What you don’t do is get all stink eye in your ex’s face or especially any newly installed signficant others. Not to mention you don’t do such in front of the children.

        WISteve in reply to Andy. | November 29, 2021 at 3:04 am

        And boiling in oil would be a waste of otherwise good oil, hehehe.

        I was blessed with a reasonably cooperative ex- who mostly respected court mandated visitation and 98% of the time we agreed to swat them on “neutral ground”…….a fast food place or wayside rest half way between our residences which were separated by a two hour drive. It was much better that way I think?

Russ from Winterset | November 27, 2021 at 6:58 pm

This would be a perfectly justifiable shooting…,….in Skidmore, MO.

Of course, that precedent was set in the pre-cellphone video era.

Colonel Travis | November 27, 2021 at 7:05 pm

Kinda stunned Carruth has not been charged yet. Such an idiot.

    willford2 in reply to Colonel Travis. | November 27, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Im sure they are looking at it with a fine tooth comb. I think It was self defence after Kyle was assaulted on his own property.

    Yeah I’m not seeing any way this ends well for him.

    This entire scenario feels like a setup to me. The ex knew he was coming, refused his legally agreed custody, and had her new boyfriend aggressively confront him, AND she’s the one filming the whole thing.

    This feels to me like they were just looking for an excuse to shoot him and were dumb enough to think that they had gotten it.

    Billy Jack in reply to Colonel Travis. | November 28, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    In the other murder in Lubbock on the same day, the grand jury has already returned returned a true bill.

    However, that murder did not involve issues with local officials.

    This one has been referred to higher authorities outside of Lubbock because of the shooter’s ex-wife is a District Judge in Lubbock. The last thing they would want is for her to influence the investigation and prosecution, one way of the other. It shouldn’t be surprising that a state agency might not work at the same speed as a local agency.

Doesn’t look like self defense to me. I understand that Carruth was probably very angry at being pushed off his own porch, but Read appears to be standing still and not a threat when Carruth shoots him. If the prosecutor offers Carruth manslaughter, he should probably take it.

    willford2 in reply to Observer. | November 27, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    READ assaulted KYLE, in my eyes its self defence. I guess a jury will decide, IF and when they bring it. When he slung him off his own porch and grabbed at the rifle Kyle did not know if he would try next to kill him or what. REED was the aggressor,(bully) as I saw it. HE had been told SEVERAL times to GET OF MY PROPERTY then assaulted KYLE.

      amatuerwrangler in reply to willford2. | November 27, 2021 at 11:26 pm

      Jeezus! Have you read the analysis?? If so, your comprehension sucks.
      First, who is “Kyle”? This involves a Read and a Carruth,.
      Now… Start with argument, no weapons, Carruth goes back into house, returns with rifle. More arguing, then chest-bumps. Unknown words exchanged. Then Read grabs rifle barrel and uses it to sling Caruth out onto the walk. Caruth retains possession of rifle. Read stands on porch, apparently motionless, gets shot by Caruth. Since Carruth still had the rifle and Read is unarmed, just how do you suppose Read was going to kill hm? The fear of death or GBI must be reasonable…

        I agree strongly with Andrew’s take on this – voluntary manslaughter, if he pleads down he might get less than the 10 – 15 year sentence he should get if he fights it. Note: under Texas law, the only real difference between a murder charge and a voluntary manslaughter charge is the range of sentences allowed.

      Milhouse in reply to willford2. | November 28, 2021 at 1:58 am

      When he slung him off his own porch and grabbed at the rifle Kyle did not know if he would try next to kill him or what.

      Indeed. And had he shot him at that moment he’d have been justified. But he didn’t, which is a good thing because we now he didn’t need to. Reed didn’t kill him, which proves that his life wasn’t actually in danger at that time, though he couldn’t have known that.

      But there’s no rain check. Defense, by definition, can only happen when your life is in danger, not when it isn’t any more.

        Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | November 28, 2021 at 9:31 am

        This reminds me of the line one often hears from leftists, that the nuclear bombing of Japan was racist. The proof, they say, is that we didn’t do it to Germany. The obvious and only possible reason is because the Germans were white. QED.

        Except that the real and only reason we didn’t drop the bombs on Germany was that it had already surrendered. Once an enemy surrenders you don’t get to keep bombing it just because you had every right to do so before the surrender!

        In the real world, rather than the fantasy world the left occupies, the father of one of my friends worked on the Manhattan Project. When asked in later years whether he had any regrets, he would reply that he had just one: that they didn’t get it done in time to drop on Germany.

          markm in reply to Milhouse. | December 2, 2021 at 2:55 pm

          “Once an enemy surrenders you don’t get to keep bombing it just because you had every right to do so before the surrender!”

          Read had _not_ surrendered. He was standing firm, on Carruth’s porch and between Carruth and the door. It might look clear to someone viewing the video and not involved in the action that Read was not attacking _at that moment_, but he was neither surrendering or trying to flee. IMHO it’s unreasonable to expect the guy that was just thrown off his own front porch to perceive that the fight was over, when the guy that attacked him was giving no such signal.

        CommoChief in reply to Milhouse. | November 28, 2021 at 12:19 pm

        Yep. IMO, had he fired at that moment in the struggle it would have likely been self defense. Once the two men were separated the issues of imminent danger are reset.

        The part many lose sight of in these situations is that they are not a singular, continuous flow of one event. Properly viewed they are a combination of a series of events analogous to individual plays in a football game. Each event has it’s own conditions to be viewed in it’s own context.

      sdharms in reply to willford2. | November 29, 2021 at 9:23 am

      his name is not KYLE. is this evidence of your reading comprehension?

you’d have a hard time convincing me this was self defense–either put the rifle down and pick-up a bat or something and get to work, or go back in your house and call the cops

couple of knuckle-heads

    A bat is also a deadly weapon.

      texansamurai in reply to sbozich. | November 28, 2021 at 12:55 pm

      am not talking about trying to kill read with it–look at their size disparity–read has got to be what 6’3 or so and 230-240?–but a good thump on one or both of his knees/shins would hurt like hell and likely slow him down enough for everybody to come to their senses–everybody survives and would have no problem letting caruth off with a warning

It seems like many of these situations that turn out poorly for the home owner occur at the front door or on the front steps. Not surprised, when reading on-line posts, “Castle Doctrine”/Stand Your Ground are thrown around like magic words for self-defense.

Advice that I have read is to disengage from a confrontation if it is safe to do so and to retreat in you home to a defensible position. Said to be good tactics and also removes a lot of ambiguity concerning the person who is lying dead at the door to your bedroom.

I have two issues that I didn’t see addressed, but I’m not sure if they would be applicable here. First, Carruth didn’t appear to become violently confrontational until Reid announced that he intended to subpoena Carruth in the custody case. Second, I’m pretty sure that I heard the carbine discharge just before Reid shoved Carruth off the porch. I don’t know about anyone else, but suddenly hearing a shot and thinking that the guy with the gun had just tried to shoot me / kneecap me would certainly make me want to lash out the way Ried did.

    Billy Jack in reply to nstew49702. | November 28, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    Shooting at his feet/legs itself had to have been a felony in itself. That should have been more than enough to send Carruth to prison for a while even if he had not killed Reid. It also, I think, gave Reid a clear justification to defend himself against unlawful aggression.

I have trouble seeing the grave threat there.

Also, if I were on the jury I would wanna convict him for being an asshole.

If Mr. Chad Read had a valid reason for being at the home of Mr. William Carruth (I am of the impression that he felt his child was being unlawfully detained within), then I am not certain that a charge of murder can be mitigated, unless other evidence that is not shown on the videos arises.

    sbozich in reply to paracelsus. | November 28, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    Having the right to be there doesn’t permit you to assault someone telling you to leave, and it certainly doesn’t justify trying to take their firearm.

    IF Read had reason to believe a crime was taking place (I don’t know TX code for unlawful detainment of a child by a custodial parent), the proper response would be to call the police and report the crime, not trespass on a property and assault an armed man on his own porch.
    Of course, Read clearly didn’t believe the child was on the premises since he claimed to have ‘sent’ the police to the grandmother’s house. Never mind that the police don’t provide a shuttle service for children late to custody turnover. They’d tell him to take up the issue with the family court system.

The guy in the blue shirt, who brought out the rifle, needs to be electrocuted.

it’s a shame read didn’t disarm carruth–if you look at the last still shot, he’s in almost perfect position to do so–read likely has had very little(if any) weapons retention training–was taught to remember that firearms are NOT contact weapons and if you want to keep yours, never(if you can help it)let your weapon touch or get within arms length of a potential threat/target

meant Carruth likely has had very little(if any)weapons retention training

Russ from Winterset | November 27, 2021 at 9:59 pm

I mentioned earlier that Read had called for the police to come out. Listening again, he told his ex that the police were ready headed to her mother’s house to look for their son there. I assume he figured that she was hiding their son at her parents’ house so she could claim that she didn’t know where he was and couldn’t hand him over. So I was wrong about Read being the one who wanted the cops to intervene in this confrontation; however, I still think Read getting the cops involved at all speaks well for him when you look at who provoked this situation.

    Also, the yelling about bringing people into court seems a good indicator that a rifle wasn’t needed. The warning shot shows he knew that, too.

    I don’t pretend to know the nuances of law. Morally, this moron is a murderer.

When my wife and I were taking out Concealed Weapons Class here in Florida, the instructor made it very clear that under the Florida Statutes if you have a firearm and yet have an ability to retreat and you do not, you may be charged. Texas appears to have similar laws and Carruth did not take the opportunity to retreat.

On a separate note ALL adults here failed the two boys!

    Olinser in reply to natdj. | November 28, 2021 at 12:23 am

    Read the analysis – that’s Irrelevant in this case, Carruth is on his own property and is not required to retreat from his own property.

    However he’s still in serious trouble from the other issues, as Branca broke down.

    Milhouse in reply to natdj. | November 28, 2021 at 2:04 am

    That is wrong. In both FL and TX there is no duty to retreat, ever, even if you can do so in perfect safety, and even if you are not in your own home.

    TheOldZombie in reply to natdj. | November 28, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    I have a CCW in Florida.

    There is no duty to retreat in Florida. That’s the whole point of stand your ground. You can meet force with force as long as you’re justified in using that force.

    Here’s the law in Florida:

    776.012 Use or threatened use of force in defense of person.—
    (1) A person is justified in using or threatening to use force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. A person who uses or threatens to use force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use such force.

    (2) A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/STATUTES/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.012.html

The guy in the black shirt will soon be as burnt as toast.

And all this could have been avoided if the ex hadn’t been playing games to keep the kid away from his father. She knew he was going to come and pick the kid up and she’s just standing there with her cellphone as if she wanted this to go down like it did.

There are two errors in this analysis. First, the porch is in fact what you refer to as “highly defensible property”. Texas defines “habitation” as follows:

(1) “Habitation” means a structure or vehicle that is adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons, and includes:
(A) each separately secured or occupied portion of the structure or vehicle; and
(B) each structure appurtenant to or connected with the structure or vehicle.

A porch is covered under (1)(B). Additionally, Sec. 9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON subsection (b) states:

(b) The actor’s belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:
(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:
(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;
(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

Read’s conduct falls under (B) as he unlawfully and with force removed Carruth from his habitation (the porch). The state may be able to overcome this presumption of reasonableness, but this is an important factor missing in the analysis.

Additionally, there is a chance that the shooting may in fact be covered by Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. The statute states:

(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and
(3) he reasonably believes that:
(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or
(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Read had just committed a burglary. The burglary statute (Sec. 30.02) states that it is a burglary if one “enters a habitation, or a building (or any portion of a building) not then open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault”. Read does just this when he enters the porch and commits an assault. The “imminent commission” requirement provides difficulty for the defense, but perhaps it can be argued that Read had an ongoing intent to commit assault. It can be argued that if Carruth were to again attempt to enter his habitation, he would again be assaulted.

The criteria under subsection (3) also can be met by arguing that “ the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury” is true because of Read’s previous stated intent to take the gun by force and use it to commit murder as well as him brazenly responding to a warning shot by committing assault.

I’d have helped build the scaffold to hang Carruth were it not for the fact that Read 1) refused to leave the premises when ordered to do so (custody agreements don’t negate trespassing laws), and 2) told an armed homeowner he would take his rifle, and then 3) scuffled with said armed homeowner and ejected him from his own porch.

Nick Rekeita’s discussion of this case at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAynYkteuNg is worth a listen.

WADR, this is bullshit. Read was trespassing, committed assault and threatened further violence. I won’t say he deserved to be shot, but he was definitely asking for it.

    Milhouse in reply to txvet2. | November 28, 2021 at 2:12 am

    None of those things justify shooting him, even in TX, unless he was trying to escape, which is the exact opposite of what he did.

    Dathurtz in reply to txvet2. | November 28, 2021 at 7:38 am

    I agree he was asking for it. I don’t think that’s mutually exclusive with a bad shoot.

MoeHowardwasright | November 28, 2021 at 6:33 am

I not a lawyer. I am not an expert in self defense law. I was trained in weapons and tactics in the Marines. I carry at all times. The shooter made two critical errors. One mental and one tactical. First the mental error. He allowed himself to be pulled into a custody dispute. No man, no matter how much you love the woman your with should get involved in her “custody” issues. It can only lead to trouble. Second error. From a tactical standpoint you never present a weapon and then go toe to toe with the person you are perceiving as an immediate threat. He allowed his need to show his girlfriend he was willing to defend her against the “mean” ex. This will not end well for any of the living parties to this death. She could be potentially charged as an accessory if proven that she contrived to set up the confrontation. She could also potentially lose custody of her child. The child has already lost a father and could wind being state raised in a foster home.

    Agree on all of it. I am not a fan of how any of those three acted in this.

    I agree. But I also note that Read was in the wrong position either to defend or to APPEAR to be defending the woman (if that was the idea). If he wanted to make a show of defending her, or if he actually was trying to do that, he needed to get BETWEEN her and Carruth. Instead, when he came out of the house with the gun, it seems as though he was facing both Carruth (in the foreground) and the woman (behind Carruth in the background). To me, the way it looks on the video is that Read brought out the gun specifically so that he could get into the fray with Carruth, who prior to then was 90 percent focused on the woman. But rather than cower at the sight of the gun, Carruth tries to out-macho Read by taunting him, chest-bumping him, and slinging him off the porch. The physical struggle between them ended at the moment, with Carruth having “won.” He clearly wasn’t charging Read or doing anything else on the video to suggest Read was in imminent mortal danger. But Read couldn’t leave it at that; it would have been humiliating. So he decided to go ahead and shoot anyway, gambling that it could be seen as self-defense.

    I think this was flat-out murder. I wouldn’t even rule out that Read was TRYING to create a situation where there would be an argument that would turn violent so that, at the right moment, he could shoot Carruth. But even if it wasn’t that premeditated, it appears to me that, in the moment when Read is clear of Carruth by 10+ feet — I think it’s more, actually — he understood at a conscious level that the unarmed Carruth was not a threat to him or anyone else, but that he would take the opportunity to shoot him anyway.

    (BTW, I don’t agree with Mr. Branca that a mere “weight shift” by Carruth in this moment would have been enough to make it a lawful case of self-defense. Is Mr. Branca suggesting that the DA would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Carruth DIDN’T shift his weight in order to prove Read guilty? Where does this weight-shift legal doctrine come from? It seems at odds with the general principle that there has to be an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm.

      Scrape in reply to Scrape. | November 28, 2021 at 11:36 am

      Looks like I got all of the names backward above. Here’s a corrected version:

      I agree. But I also note that Carruth was in the wrong position either to defend or to APPEAR to be defending the woman (if that was the idea). If he wanted to make a show of defending her, or if he actually was trying to do that, he needed to get BETWEEN her and Read. Instead, when he came out of the house with the gun, it seems as though he was facing both Read (in the foreground) and the woman (behind Read in the background). To me, the way it looks on the video is that Carruth brought out the gun specifically so that he could get into the fray with Read, who prior to then was 90 percent focused on the woman. But rather than cower at the sight of the gun, Read tries to out-macho Carruth by taunting him, chest-bumping him, and slinging him off the porch. The physical struggle between them ended at the moment, with Read having “won.” He clearly wasn’t charging Carruth or doing anything else on the video to suggest Carruth was in imminent mortal danger. But Carruth couldn’t leave it at that; it would have been humiliating. So he decided to go ahead and shoot anyway, gambling that it could be seen as self-defense.

      I think this was flat-out murder. I wouldn’t even rule out that Carruth was TRYING to create a situation where there would be an argument that would turn violent so that, at the right moment, he could shoot Read. But even if it wasn’t that premeditated, it appears to me that, in the moment when Carruth is clear of Read by 10+ feet — I think it’s more, actually — he understood at a conscious level that the unarmed Read was not a threat to him or anyone else, but that he would take the opportunity to shoot him anyway.

      (BTW, I don’t agree with Mr. Branca that a mere “weight shift” by Read in this moment would have been enough to make it a lawful case of self-defense. Is Mr. Branca suggesting that the DA would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Read DIDN’T shift his weight in order to prove Carruth guilty? Where does this weight-shift legal doctrine come from? It seems at odds with the general principle that there has to be an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm.

    Jennifer Read, the widow of the man shot, has now filed a petition asking to be given custody of her late husband’s children with his ex-wife. I don’t know if Read’s ex-wife set her husband up to be shot or not, but if she thought his death was going to end her custody battles, it turns out she was wrong.

    https://www.kcbd.com/2021/11/24/attorney-chad-reads-widow-files-petition-take-custody-his-children-their-mother-releases-video-shooting/

      I still can’t get over Reid’s widow continuing to screech at the shooter while her husband is dead (or dying for all she knew) on the porch. There is no way this whole thing wasn’t set-up, and I would be investigating the widow’s role as well as that of the ex and the ex’s current. How long before we find out that the ex’s current was sleeping with Reid’s wife or some such horror? Sure, tinfoil hat time, but that whole video (both of them) is disturbing. It all sounds like a set-up to me, but as we all know, I tend to prefer a tinfoil tiara when things look fishy. 😛

        Yes, I watched a longer version of the video that was shot by the (now) widow from the truck, and I was also shocked that neither she, nor anybody else, made any attempt to check Read’s condition and give him aid or comfort as he died. There he was, lying crumpled on the porch, and his wife is yelling from the truck “I got this on videotape” and is continuing to argue with Carruth, as if her husband is not lying there dying. It was surreal.

cherchez la femme

The Bulletproof Syndrome….
What is with all these people who seem to think they are bulletproof? Right down the line. From Mike Brown to here.

Louis K. Bonham | November 28, 2021 at 9:24 am

Was bringing a long gun into this situation wise? Nope.

Were the shooter’s tactics (bringing a long gun into a close contact situation, with a significantly larger opponent) wise? Nope.

Was the homicide criminal under Texas law? We’ll see. While I greatly respect Mr. Branca’s analyses, I agree with the commentator above that Mr. Branca misses (or at least understates) two related aspects of Texas law.

First, the porch is considered part of the “habitation” under Texas law. As such, the curtilage discussion is irrelevant, and Texas law treats this case just as if it all happened with an uninvited person in the living room.

Second, because the porch is considered part of the habitation, when the deceased stepped onto the porch and committed an assault, that was burglary under TPC 30.02.

Ergo, the analysis *will* be under TPC 9.42(2)(A) — was deadly force reasonably necessary to prevent / stop the commission of burglary (which, because the deceased was still on the porch when shot, will boil down to whether the shooter reasonably believed that the deceased was going to continuing to commit assault). That’s a much lower threshold than Mr. Branca’s analysis suggests.

Will the shooter be indicted / convicted? We’ll see, and we all need to let the process work and see what other evidence emerges. But remember, folks, this is Lubbock, Texas — up in the Texas panhandle, one of the most conservative parts of a conservative state. It is definitely not somewhere where the prosecutors, judges, and juries are hostile to armed self defense under the law.

Will there be civil liability? Under CPRC §83.001, “A defendant who uses force or deadly force that is justified under Chapter 9, Penal Code, is immune from civil liability for personal injury or death that results from the defendant’s use of force or deadly force, as applicable.” Now, burden of proof here will be on the defense to prove this by a preponderance on the evidence, not on the prosecution to disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt, so it is entirely possible that there could be civil liability even if the shooter is no-billed or acquitted.

Again, this is a horrible event for all involved, and all of this could and should have been avoided with the application of more common sense and less ego from all the parties.

    I just don’t see how a jury could conclude from the entire circumstances that Read shot Carruth in order to prevent or flee from a burglary. Common sense tells us that the statutes you’re referring to are intended to cover the situation where an unknown, possibly-armed intruder breaks or sneaks into an occupied home, which any reasonable person would regard as a terrifying situation. This was not that. Here, a known person had arrived on the property at a certain time by prior agreement (as part of a visitation arrangement). The person was not armed and obviously wasn’t there for any improper purpose. Just because the words of the statute can be parsed in such a way as to support a particular argument doesn’t mean that a jury is required to accept the argument.

    Colonel Travis in reply to Louis K. Bonham. | November 28, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Agree with the habitation part. I have read case law in Texas where even an unattached garage is considered part of the “habitation.”

    I don’t think the shooting was legal. Years ago, sure, I bet he isn’t even charged, when we didn’t have everything on video. But we can see what happened. The guy with the rifle ran away, the victim was not charging, in fact, had his hands out and open looking like – what, are you gonna shoot me? That’s the part that matters. When did he shoot? To me, he shot when there was no immediate danger of great bodily harm or death. The guy with the rifle did some really stupid things, tactically, but he was able to run off and create distance, which was good. Did he have to shoot at that point? I’m not seeing the justification at all.

      Louis K. Bonham in reply to Colonel Travis. | November 28, 2021 at 8:43 pm

      Again, the test is going to be whether deadly force was reasonably necessary to halt the commission of burglary (which in this case means assault). You’re combining the elements of TPC 9.32 (deadly force in defense of person) with 9.42(a)(2) (which stands alone).

      (As for the commentator above who questioned whether a jury would parse the language of the statute, methinks you have no legal training. It’s the *judge’s* job — not the jury — to parse the law and instruct the jury on what the law is. And this kind of statutory interpretation is done all the time — see the Rittenhouse trial, where It took too long but the judge finally did the right thing on the weapons charge. If the judge screws up on the law and the defense preserves error, that’s how convictions get reversed.)

      The nature of 9.42 is a quirk unique to Texas law — no other state has anything like it. Again, I’m not predicting the shooter will walk, but I am saying this is nowhere near as clear as Mr. Branca’s analysis suggests.

I can’t express how happy I am to finally have the opportunity to – respectfully – disagree with the great Andrew Branca.

First, while I don’t deny the fact that the use of deadly force in self-defense may indeed have been imperfect (I’d have to do a deep dive into Texas law; I’m a NC guy), I do believe that Carruth’s belief at the moment he fired that Read posed an imminent threat of deadly or great bodily harm to be reasonable.
Here’s why:
You mentioned that Carruth may have been justified in using deadly force when he fired the “warning shot” (for the record, as a Concealed Carry Instructor, I explicitly teach my students that warning shots are what happen when you miss; don’t miss), as Read grabbed for the firearm, but that window of justification closed.
Per the truck video, it appears clear to me that Read again reached for the firearm, this time grabbing it, and using it to spin Carruth around. Additionally, Carruth was already in the process of raising the firearm while he was spinning, and fired immediately once he regained his footing.
For this reason, I believe that the use of deadly force, at that moment, was reasonable, given the facts and circumstances.

I also want to take issue with your interpretation of “Castle Doctrine”. In your analysis of the Georgia Citizen’s Arrest statute, you aptly note that the first part is incongruent with the second part as analyzed by the judge in the Arbury case. I believe the same applies here.
You state that the Castle Doctrine simply removes a duty to retreat if you’re in your own home, but in Texas (and other Stand your Ground states, to include NC) there is no duty to retreat at all (assuming “innocence”). So your description of Castle Doctrine, as applied in Texas, would be moot.
You do note that the law grants the lawful occupant of a home a reasonable belief of an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm when using deadly force against an unlawful and forcible intruder, and – rightfully – that that presumption doesn’t apply in this case; however, I am confused as to why you wouldn’t classify that presumption as an element of the Castle Doctrine (and a relevant one at that).
I understand that states that do have a duty to retreat outside of the home have a weak Castle Doctrine, in that a lawful occupant of a home is relieved of the duty to retreat inside of it, but in what I call strong Castle Doctrine states, the law grants a lawful occupant a presumption of an actual belief of an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm, and I’m not sure why you wouldn’t characterize that as part of the Castle Doctrine.

Lastly, this isn’t so much a disagreement, as it is my two cents regarding curtilage, as applied to the concept of Castle Doctrine. I do agree that the concept of curtilage is a confusing one for many, and it is often described in ways that do not further the cause of helping citizens to understand when they may – or may not – use deadly force. I won’t name names, but a well-recognized and respected member of law enforcement and the legal community in North Carolina once stated that our strong “Castle Doctrine” (as I use the term, hopefully by now you agree with me!) applies to curtilage, and that curtilage includes – generally – the area around the home that the homeowner mows. I held my tongue when I heard that (in part because I wasn’t sure I was understanding him correctly), but what I teach my students when discussing the lawful use of deadly force is what I call the “Doorbell Rule” (which has absolutely zero legal basis, but is rather introduced as a concept to give them an idea as to when an individual goes from being a trespasser to an intruder). As the name implies, the doorbell (and all exterior walls connected to that doorbell) is the point at which a homeowner would rightly expect someone uninvited to stop and go no further sans permission to do so. When a trespasser attempts to unlawfully and forcible pass that line, they become an intruder and the Castle Doctrine (again, as I recognize it) extends a presumption of an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm to the lawful occupant of the home, thus perfecting the right of deadly force in self-defense (assuming all other elements are met).
I’d love to hear your take on my perspective, and/or your explanation as to why I’m wrong!

Thanks for everything you do!

    CommoChief in reply to sbozich. | November 28, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    Disagree. Castle doctrine isn’t a free pass to shoot people on your front porch. The doctrine and it’s presumptions are applicable in the immediate circumstances when one fires. When he fires there was as no immediate danger of him losing control of his weapon or him being physically attacked due to the distance between them.

    At that moment there was a ‘reset’ of the conditions. Had his opponent charged at him in this moment it would be different. IMO, the shooter allowed his emotions to overcome his actions. It appears to me based on what we can see that his ego, ‘ no one pushes me on my property’ mindset got the better of his judgement.

    Once they spun apart and distance was created a new ‘play’ was created with it’s own circumstances. The facts of this final ‘play’; separation, no charging/rushing at the shooter, they two were stationary in this moment, no imminent threat existed IMO.

      sbozich in reply to CommoChief. | November 28, 2021 at 1:20 pm

      I never said castle doctrine was a free pass to shoot people on your porch.

        CommoChief in reply to sbozich. | November 28, 2021 at 7:11 pm

        Fair enough. I would simply say that, IMO, there doesn’t appear to be evidence of any immediate or imminent danger to the shooter; at the time he fired. Lacking that imminent threat there isn’t any reason to discuss whether the TX statutes create a presumptive defense(s). They are, under that circumstance, not applicable.

          sbozich in reply to CommoChief. | November 29, 2021 at 12:32 pm

          Again, as Attorney Branca points out, Carruth likely had the right to use deadly force at the moment Read tried to grab his rifle the first time.

          When Read was shot, he had just flung Carruth around, trying to take Carruth’s rifle a second time, and Carruth fired the moment he regained his footing.

          How many times should an assailant be allowed to try to take your firearm from you on your own property before it is lawful to shoot them?

    healthguyfsu in reply to sbozich. | November 28, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    You can respectfully disagree and speculate incorrectly if you choose.

    Bottom line is that you don’t get to shoot “as soon as you regain your footing” after being in a tense situation that no longer exists at the moment of the deadly shot. Self defense is not an easy defense to bring to court if it isn’t an act that can at least be reasoned to seem intentional and rational at the moment of the shooting.

    This is what dooms so many cases…there’s no delay period, even a few seconds, where you can say a few seconds ago it was dangerous, so you still have a right when the danger is passing to do what you were going to do. The Drejka case and others have taught this lesson many times.

    Compare the most famous recent examples of Rittenhouse and Zimmerman to all of the others and the big difference you see is the immediacy of a reasonable threat.

      Read the analysis before watching the videos. What jumped out at me was the immediacy of the reaction after getting thrown off the porch. The moment Carruth regains his balance he brings the gun up and fires. There is no hesitation. Given the short distance between them (best guess <10 feet) I can see how a person might fire after the other guy grabbed his gun. If it were based solely on those facts, I would disagree with our hosts analysis and conclusion.

      What is a bit more troubling to me is the events leading up to it. While bringing a gun to a domestic incident is never a "good idea", Carruth certainly had the right to stand on his porch and argue with a gun in his hand. He also had the right to tell Read to leave.

      Read was also an aggressor when Carruth showed up with the gun. Moving up towards him and pushing with the chest. The slight push on the barrel (not a grab) prompted Carruth to shoot at the ground or Read's feat. At that point, I didn't see enough justification to use deadly force. The "shot" escalated things though. Is that enough to make Curruth lose his innocence? Tough question here.

      “Bottom line is that you don’t get to shoot “as soon as you regain your footing” after being in a tense situation that no longer exists at the moment of the deadly shot.”

      Way to misrepresent the facts…and what I said.

believe when carruth introduced a firearm into the confrontation the die was cast–they were both angry but, just prior to the shooting, when they disengaged and read was about 10′ away believe HIS adrenaline was wearing off and he was coming back into real time–carruth, however, was still in the zone and determined to “protect his woman, the kid, etc”and his state of mind made the shooting inevitable

they each had a couple of opportunities to de-escalate/end the confrontation and apparently either they couldn’t or didn’t know how to stop the nonsense

lord

From all that I’ve seen and read about this case, this is most definitely a case where idiots collided. I’m not seeing a justification to introduce a weapon, and I’m not seeing a justification to get up front and confrontational over a custody issue. You don’t win these things by standing on someone else’s front porch and yelling.

Poor anger management all the way around, and the way the two different parties were sitting there recording it all…? Good grief.

Were there a way to do it, I’d put all involved on trial for being dumbasses, but the guy who went to the trouble of bringing a weapon into it deserves the most punishment. You can pretty much tell two things from what he does with it; one, he has no real idea what to do with a weapon in those circumstances, because he allows the guy who he’s supposedly threatened by to get close enough to take it away from him. The body language and the way he behaves speaks to someone who is posturing, making a threat display–And, then, when it doesn’t work, he uses the weapon to kill the other party with.

The more I look at this and contemplate it, I think the shooter should be charged with felony-level stupidity, and probably murder. There was no point to the posturing-with-guns that he was doing; had the other party been trying to enter the house, or been physically threatening anyone else? Perhaps; but as it is, he brought a weapon into the confrontation as a magic talisman that didn’t work, and then behaved like a petulant child when the other guy didn’t react fearfully. They were all idiots, but he was the one who brought deadly force to bear when it was not necessary.

Whatever the end state is, this dumbass has definitely proven he should not own firearms, along with the fact that he’s an idiot. As the party who escalated the “fight” by bringing in the firearm, it’s his own damn fault that the weapon was used against him to lever him off the porch. The fact that the guy doing that didn’t take the weapon away from him and use it on him makes a good case that shooting him wasn’t justified.

Other point is, the idiocy here is manyfold and manifest; someone comes out of their house with a gun, that’s the point where you get the hell out of dodge and call the cops. You do not stand there on their porch and continue to argue.

The people with the cameras are probably at least partially to blame, because you can almost see both idiots posturing for them, like a couple of rutting bucks. All I can say is, stupid is as stupid does, and if you’re in one of these situations and don’t recognize it for what it is…? You’re the idiot. Don’t be stupid places at stupid times with stupid people, doing stupid things. Your lawyers will thank you for that.

At one point I was going to call this a “planned execution,” but now with a re-watch, I am not so sure. What changed is that the first time I viewed this, on my phone where I can’t comment, it seemed as if carruth went inside and immediately returned with a gun. Upon rewatch, that took about 36 seconds, not the 5 seconds or so that I thought it took the first time.

That being said, I still see this as a situation where Read was provoked into acting, and Read’s acting was then used as a “justification” to shoot him. Just a variation of “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” The only thing that I am certain of is that the Mom is highly skilled at attracting losers. And my take is that she used one to remove another.

Carruth was at fault for not recognizing that he doesn’t have a dog in this fight. The first question I would ask is why was the exchange being done at his house, unless the Mom was living there. The furthest one wants to go is neutral territory, such as a public playground. By going there, Read put himself at a disadvantage. If he did in fact contact the police, and if he was earnest about contacting the courts to resolve this situation, then that will be in his favor legally. Advice that I was given, and advice that I give, is to never ever make the children a piece to be played in the battle. Once a woman uses the threat of loss of visitation as a move, it is something that can never ever be unheard and taken back. It is the nuclear option, and it seems like Mom was in the habit of tossing it around loosely. What we saw was likely not an isolated incident, but a culmination. And I find it rather suspicious that she was filming it. That makes me consider that she was planning to have evidence, perhaps not to absolve or convict, but more to show that she was not a part of the crime. One has to wonder if in the past Carruth had stated’ if he comes here, I will shoot him.” And I wonder right now if thoughts of his “being played” are starting to bounce around in his noggin. Sure, this is speculation on my part, but it is where I found myself after I started to follow the money.

Another issue. How would this have played out if there was no video? Were that the case, then I think most people would immediately go to a justified shooting given the logistics. But boy, the whole video sure turns that around for me. The entire way that Carruth escalated it by getting gun and returning and making a threat. Mom didn’t seem like the woman who could get a bishop to kick in a stained glass window, so I really do have to wonder if this whole scene was one that was being primed for days or weeks in advance. I have encountered evil women, and she sure fits the type.

Andrew is probably right except for acouple of things … 1- its Texas 2- its Lubbock Texas 3 – he was told to git

Russ from Winterset | November 28, 2021 at 2:16 pm

If Read showed up at Carruth’s house belligerent and wanting to smack someone around, I would lean towards considering this justified. The problem is, he was there to pick up his child. This is a custody issue that I assume the court has already considered. Based on the video available, Read’s anger was due to his wife playing games with their child.

I assume that Carruth is the new man in the life of Read’s ex. Makes me wonder if Carruth is the one who desired a “final confrontation” here. This case isn’t going to be a cut & dried application of self defense law, there is going to be a deep dive into prior confrontations between these two men. I would put good money on this being a culmination of several encounters.

Consider, for a moment, how long it took you to read Andrew’s very thorough exposition of the law that applies to this situation. Now read what I posted here in August 2019:

With all of the burdens put on the defender in lethal force situations, what I’ve been reading here (on LI in general) is that when a defender’s use of lethal force meets the standards set by law that this is just a fortunate coincidence. No person can possibly have a complete knowledge of the law (that changes from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and that even those schooled in the law argue about) or perfect information about the situation (complete knowledge of the situation, including his opponent’s intent, skill levels, and whether or not he may be armed or have other weapons than those that might be visible, etc.). Even if a person did have this information, nobody could possibly synthesize this data unerringly in the seconds during a violent encounter when his focus is on survival now (focusing on survival later is simply not a good idea). Defenders who experience “good shoots” or who are exonerated at trial seem to be just lucky. Surviving a lethal force incident and avoiding jail does not appear to be the result of either knowledge about the situation or how the law applies to it. The police investigation into the shooting, and the possible subsequent trial, only make it seem that the defender had properly sorted out the facts and the law, when in fact, at the moment of the incident, he almost certainly had a lot of it wrong (if for no other reason than it appears to be impossible, under the duress of a potentially lethal attack, to get everything right). When a user of lethal force is found “not guilty,” it is usually due to a post hoc narrative that is generated around circumstances that just happened to favor the defendant.

    Dathurtz in reply to DaveGinOly. | November 28, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    I think the bottom line has to be “Something really bad has a good chance of happening if I don’t shoot this person.” In that context, I can’t imagine a person doing a cold calculation of how the law will apply to the dangerous event.

    CommoChief in reply to DaveGinOly. | November 28, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    For me the bottom line was when the shooter went and retrieved a weapon from inside and returned outside. All of us watching the videos likely had the same reaction; that’s a bad idea/don’t do that/this situation is deteriorating, just stay inside, lock the door and call LEO.

    It was bad tactics and ego driven decision-making on his part. Probably the girlfriend/ex-wife had a hand in this even if only indirectly by pushing the buttons of the shooter in some way. Reporting indicates she failed to abide by the child custody order of the CT which directly agitated her ex husband.

    The entire situation is indirectly exacerbated by the failure to abide by the custody order. That’s on the Family Court system and it’s many deficiencies. Maybe they will be motivated to reform themselves but I doubt it.

“That said, while § 9.42 does have a unique provision for the use of deadly force in defense of merely personal property, it is not simply a license to shoot dead anybody committing simple trespass on your property,”

Andrew, I think you need to take a closer look at the definition of “criminal trespass” in Texas law,

“Sec. 30.05
Criminal Trespass
(a)A person commits an offense if the person enters or remains on or in property of another, including residential land, agricultural land, a recreational vehicle park, a building, or an aircraft or other vehicle, without effective consent and the person:
(1)had notice that the entry was forbidden; or
(2)received notice to depart but failed to do so.
(b)For purposes of this section:
(1)“Entry” means the intrusion of the entire body.
(2)“Notice” means:
(A)oral or written communication by the owner or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner;

The moment Read was told to leave the property (“Notice under 30.05(b)(2) and refused to do so, this was no longer an issue of simple trespass. It becomes criminal trespass.

    Colonel Travis in reply to SDN. | November 28, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    In Texas you cannot use deadly force for merely trespassing in and of itself. You can use force, not deadly force. That’s TPC 9.41. Deadly force is explained in TPC 9.42, and I do not see how the shooter cleared any hurdle in 9.42.

      Louis K. Bonham in reply to Colonel Travis. | November 28, 2021 at 8:57 pm

      Agreed that trespass (criminal or not) isn’t covered by TPC 9.42. But given that assault coupled with uninvited presence in a habitation = burglary under Texas law, why isn’ 9.42(a)(2) implicated?

        Colonel Travis in reply to Louis K. Bonham. | November 28, 2021 at 11:03 pm

        Yes, I saw your explanation above and response to my comment there, thanks. I am not a lawyer, I live in Texas and have a pile of resources for self-defense and gun laws here. But I don’t have access to a lot of case law, so one thing has me stuck. I understand Texas being unique among all other states for defense of property, however I am not convinced the victim was committing an assault the moment the shooter pulled the trigger.

        I know you said I was combining two different elements of the law, but let me explain my thoughts on this point further. Either someone is assaulting or attempting to commit an assault or they aren’t. We know the victim was not a threat to the shooter (defense of person). He fails the imminent danger test, if he tries to claim self-defense, he has no case. So that leaves defense of property.

        9.42 2(A) states that deadly force is justified “to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime;” From what I understand, courts have generally (key word) accepted the use of deadly force against the prevention of burglaries. There was no prevention of a burglary when the shooter pulled the trigger, there was no imminent commission of a burglary. That moment had passed at some point in time, I don’t know how long the guy had been there before the video started.

        If the courts have agreed that a guy leaving his vehicle and getting on someone else’s porch is an assault – ok, I accept that. What about languishing on a porch? Does every second of him being there count as an active assault/burglary? If that is how courts have interpreted that, then the longer someone lingers, and you see them lingering, then it doesn’t matter if you shoot the person as soon as he enters the habitation or 10 minutes later. And this is where I have a problem with the shooter. Again, the language of 9.42 2(A) justifies the use of deadly force during the “imminent commission of arson, burglary….”

        If you don’t shoot immediately, what is the justification for shooting later? The only thing I can think of in that case is if the burglar/assaulter refuses to leave. OK, but was this a situation where there is no other option than shooting the person? 9.42 points back to 9.41 about use of force in general. 9.41 states that force is justified only if one “reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property.” That overarching principle doesn’t change with 9.42, the only difference is “force” vs. “deadly force.”

        I agree that force was justified. I cannot agree that deadly force was justified. The shooter got the gun. Why? He escalated when he didn’t have to. He ran from the guy who was not chasing him. He didn’t shoot when he first got the gun, he shot after waiting. I’d like to hear his explanation for that. If I’m a juror on this case, and this is all the evidence I have, there is no way I could justify use of deadly force here.

        Anyway, this is my Holiday Inn Express look at things.
        😉

      My point was that he had misidentified the type of trespass.

      In addition, It would appear that TPC 9.33 via 9.31 is the relevant statute here. He easily meets 9.31, use of force, because of the criminal trespass. In addition, Read lost the ability to claim lawful presence as soon as he didn’t leave.

        Colonel Travis in reply to SDN. | November 28, 2021 at 11:11 pm

        Gotcha, thanks.

        Sorry, I’m not following how the use of deadly force against criminal trespass is applicable under 9.31?

Open and shut case for 2nd degree murder IMO.

First off, this isn’t defense of property because he wasn’t attempting to steal or damage anything. There’s no evidence on video that he even tried to enter the residence illegally. Certainly, TX law provides the defendant with the opportunity and right to be there to defend his life or anothers, even to retrieve the weapon if he’d like to do so. It does not provide him the legal means to shoot someone that was not a deadly force threat…and this person was not.

Secondly, he even said he called the cops and had them on the way. That can be easily confirmed or denied in court but presuming that’s true, it is part of the circumstances involved and provides him with a legal reason to be there. That is extremely problematic for the shooter.

Finally, ex and dad were in a custody dispute and a legally uninvolved party in that dispute jumped in with a deadly weapon where no one, not even the child, was reasonably at risk of death or serious bodily injury. That’s going to put him in a real bad spot. His lawyer needs to leverage a plea deal because Lubbock is very conservative and won’t want a big self defense gone wrong trial IMO. A DA who goes to court probably won’t be popular around those parts at all.

A few final notes:

-Can’t wait for all the liberals to blacksplain how two white guys are another example of racism…or just ignore this case if they can’t weave it into a narrative (I see one drive by with an IQ below his waist size has already littered this section with nonsensical twitter level intelligentsia)

-It looks like the kids (or some young people) saw everything from inside the house if that’s them. If so, this is tragic and traumatizing for them more than anything. Imagine being this bad of an example for your children.

    Colonel Travis in reply to healthguyfsu. | November 29, 2021 at 12:14 am

    The argument really is about defense of property. He has no self-defense case whatsoever. When it comes to the use of deadly force defending property, Texas is unlike any other state in America. Probably the most well-known case in recent memory is Joe Horn outside of Houston, who killed two robbers for stealing a TV set from someone else’s house. A grand jury didn’t charge him. That would be inexplicable anywhere else.

    I don’t see this case as a valid defense of property case. But I’m no lawyer, and the way the laws are written in this state, I can easily see how others would disagree with me. Lubbock isn’t Kenosha County, Wisconsin.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Colonel Travis. | November 29, 2021 at 1:35 am

      Agreed that there’s an argument about defense of property, but as you and I agree, this is not a valid defense of property by any reasonably legal means.

      Is the Houston case you cite strange because of TX? Yeah sure it’s very unique to TX, but it is legitimately about property crime. This case is not. The child was not property, and the father was within his legal right to have custody of his child transferred to him at the adjudicated time. That will play a big factor in this case, even if the defense would try to make it about property.

        healthguyfsu in reply to healthguyfsu. | November 29, 2021 at 1:39 am

        Watch for the state to try and charge the shooter and his lady with kidnapping and it will likely stick unless there’s a plea bargain.

        Louis K. Bonham in reply to healthguyfsu. | November 29, 2021 at 2:09 pm

        Look at the *actual* definition of burglary under Texas law, rather than what you think the law is / ought to be.

        There is no serious question that the decedent had committed the offense of burglary under Texas law: he was in the shooter’s “habitation” (which under Texas law includes the porch of the house) without invitation (and indeed remained there after being told to leave), and while in the “habitation” committed an assault. That facially implicates 9.42(a)(2). (That the TPC 9.42 is entitled “Defense of Property” is of no moment — under Texas law, you look to the provisions of the statute rather than its title.)

        To me, the *legal* question under Texas law boils down to whether the shooter reasonably believed that the decedent was going to continue to commit assault (and therefore burglary as that term is defined by Texas law), and that the immediate application of deadly force was necessary to stop it. Just as using deadly force to stop theft at nighttime does not require proof of actual danger to yourself before the 9.42(a)(2) defense kicks in, the threshold is a lot lower in a 9.42(a)(2) case than a “defense of person” claim.

        Will that claim succeed? We’ll see, but recall that the decedent stated that his intention to continue the assault, continued the assault after a warning shot was fired (another unwise tactic by the shooter), threw the shooter off the porch (the shooter did not “run away,” or move to create distance), and certainly appeared prepared to continue the affray.

        Again, I’m not applauding the shooter’s actions: they were weapons-grade stupidity on display. But like the Rittenhouse case, you have to deal with the penal statutes as they are written; not as you think they ought to be or what you believe “common sense” dictates. And that means due to the particular Texas quirk that is 9.42(a), this is simply not a clear cut case.

      What I can’t get over, Colonel, is that the dead guy’s wife keeps arguing with the shooter from her vehicle . .. while her husband lies dead (or dying, for all she knows) on the porch. Not one of those people go near him, not one checks on him. Then the wife yells that they “really did it.” This is all very strange to me. And rather suspicious.

Lastly, it occurs to me that baby mama trailer queen of Texas now has two guys where she might have access to their money and assets:

-Her now dead ex may owe alimony and/or child support or have some money go to his next of kin (his child I believe if he isn’t remarried)

-Her soon to be inmate ###### boyfriend who was willing to white knight for her in this stupid fashion may be offering her to take care of his house and other stuff while he’s locked up if she plays her lady cards

She should be looked at a little more closely in all of this. I’ll be that if she skates by this, she’s working on custody battle 2.0 with someone while white knight spends a long time in the clink, probably using his house to have the next wedlock baby.

It appears to my untrained eye that the shooter might have cause to believe he was in imminent danger despite the distance between attacker and shooter. It would certainly make me believe a person was deranged if I fired a ‘warning shot’ (something I would not do) into the ground at his feet and he doesn’t blink, or even step back, but rather attempts to seize my weapon. That is a person in q state of mind that presents a clear and immediate danger to me and my loved ones. If I were sitting on that jury, it is self defense in my (legally untrained) opinion.

    I think that goes to the opposite conclusion, i.e., grabbing for the gun after the warning shot. The shooter brought out a gun because the dad was pissed of and shouting because the mom allegedly was playing games with his son regarding the custody agreement. I think most people would agree that that is something that would reasonably upset a person, especially if you consider that one party is a judge and presumably can influence the court and law enforcement in her favor. Now, aside from getting in the shooter’s face and jostling him with his body, he did not attack the shooter nor present a deadly force threat, Texas law notwithstanding. The shooter decides, either intentionally or because he had his dick beater on the trigger, to fire a warning shot. Again, Texas law notwithstanding, that’s a deadly force threat against the dad so I see it as reasonable that he attempted to take the weapon from the shooter. All he had done was yell, threaten to take them to court (which again I think a reasonable person would agree is an understandable response to a violation of a custody agreement, especially if it is a constant issue) and get in the face of a guy who pulled a gun on him. The shooter firing into the porch, while maybe not legally, makes him an imminent threat, if only because of his stupidity. There’s no evidence that the dad made any aggressive moves after the shooter was tossed off the porch. And while Texas is a funny state when it comes to self defense, I really don’t see this as justifiable.

the minute he escalated the situation by getting a gun, tells me that he intended to shoot.
there was no assault before that.

the only thing that MIGHT deem this justified self defense is if read was proven to be under the influence–drugs, alcohol, etc.–so far, nothing presented to indicate the same

otherwise, no question carruth escalated the situation with the introduction of a weapon to the mix

Whether or not Read has custody issues is not relevant to the shooting. The dead man should have waited on the street until the police that he called arrived.; He was ordered off the property by the legal owner. He came onto the dwelling and forceably ejected the owner from his dwelling. To be honest in this discussion, I will not be assaulted on my property.

    healthguyfsu in reply to wukong. | November 29, 2021 at 11:07 am

    lol…you can downvote all you want and get mad in a comment section but you are on a collision course with jail time and loss of 2nd amendment rights if anything similar ever happens with you given your attitude about it.

Sec. 9.31. SELF-DEFENSE.
(a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. The actor’s belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:
(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used:
(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

Sec. 9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON.
(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:
(1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and
(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or

(B) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.

(b) The actor’s belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:

(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

,b>(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

    healthguyfsu in reply to Grey_Man. | November 29, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    That doesn’t say what you think it says.

    First off, blue dad’s use of force wasn’t unlawful considering he’d had a “warning shot” fired at him when his son was being unlawfully held by the other party.

    Secondly, read the “AND” in Section 9.32 (2) that you included in your quote but didn’t bold it. The immediate necessity was simply not there.

      (b) The actor’s belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

      (1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:

      (A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

      (B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or

      (C) was committing or attempting to commit an offense described by Subsection (a)(2)(B);

      Once teal shirt dude grabbed black shirt guy’s gun and flung him off his own porch black shirt dude get the presumption of reasonableness. There is maybe a 20% chance of charges being filed and a 0% chance of conviction because it’s Texas.

just because carruth MAY have been justified doesn’t mean he HAD to shoot read–many other options before you come to lethal force–most importantly above all else: read, though angry, was UNARMED and unless he presented a genuine threat to someone other than myself(my lady, my loved ones,etc)would have had a hard time wasting him for being a bit unhinged

    Cornpop in reply to texansamurai. | December 2, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    Read was an immediate threat, he even declared his explicit intent. I’m not buying this requirement you have to wait until you’re about to be hit in the head with a skateboard the third time before you can take step one to defend yourself.

    You can’t expect people to single step frames in real time. Read explicitly threatens a man protecting his own property, told him he was going to kill him with his own gun, attacked him and tried to take his gun. At least we can Read was an honest man of his word. The shots were fired in the immediate aftermath of the active physical threat. It’s not like Vietnam where when shot at, you have to call Washington to get permission to fire back.

    Not guilty.

I would be willing to bet this was a conspiracy to commit murder.

1. Read had a court document JUSTIFYING him to be there to pick up his child.

2. If Read was in contact with the police (having sent them to the grandmother’s house) it suggests he had no intent to break laws that day.

3. Read was provoked by them denying him his child. Who wouldn’t be similarly upset or provoked? How would a jury view provoking someone then shooting them when they are angry at the provocation?

4. Since the provocation was planned, we have to ask if it was a conspiracy to commit murder. They planned in advance not allowing him custody of his child. Was this a deliberate attempt to set up an opportunity to murder Read, ostensibly in self defense?

5. That mother could be a psychopathic narcissist. This whole custody battle was likely a case of “parental alienation” which is a huge can of worms requiring professional analysis to get to the bottom of. If one of two parents is a psychopathic narcissist, the relationship usually ends with an ensuing terrible custody battle where the narcissist uses the children to hurt the other parent and, if possible, drive them into suicide. If the mother is actually a psychopathic narcissist, then it is highly likely the boyfriend was co-opted in the mother’s conspiracy to commit murder. If this were the case, the mother would be more culpable than the boyfriend who pulled the trigger.

6. This may show how much the family court system failed a loving parent by letting an evil parent wreak havoc in people’s lives. The courts ought to be discerning the signs and dangers of a narcissistic parent, which they rarely do. The family courts ought to be protecting the loving parent and the children from an evil parent, who uses the children as pawns in their game of “narcissistic supply” and narcissistic pleasure.

TennesseeConservative | November 29, 2021 at 9:09 pm

1) Tueller Drill: Branca’s calculation is flawed. He asserts “…we’re dealing with a defender who has his muzzle on the target,” and that it takes 2/10 sec to fire in that circumstance. Contrary to Branca’s assertion, the video showed Carruth’s carbine low and to the shooter’s left of Read. It easily takes 5/10 sec to move from “low ready” to shoulder and for the shooter to confirm his aim point. Additionally, what about reaction time? That doesn’t “scale” with distance. Since Carruth was prepared but not a professional, let’s say 5/10 sec. So it takes 1 full second to decide, acquire the target, and fire. 1/1.5 x 21 ft = 14 ft, a range within which Read was standing.

2) Branca refers (as a teaching tool) to Read looking at and seemingly reaching for the barrel of Carruth’s carbine during the chest bumping segment. But other than a casual reference during the factual setup, Branca ignores Reid grabbing the barrel and using it to throw Carruth off the porch and Read FOLLOWING OFF THE PORCH. You can see this on the “Truck” video in the 2 sec before Carruth fires.

This shooting makes me extremely uneasy as a 2A advocate, arms collector & Army vet. Exactly like OJ, he may be acquitted (if prosecuted), but no matter how long he lives, he’ll never escape the inevitable civil judgment OBO the dead man’s child.

First time I’ve posted here, but I feel that Mr. Branca didn’t do enough research into TX case law, and jumped the gun here (pun intended).

Mr. Branca misses the fact that covered porches are include as part of the habitation for purposes of self defense under TX law. And rightly points out that Read doesn’t appear to use force to ‘enter’ the habitation, BUT he clearly uses force to remove Carruth and that force is clearly an assault under TX law, TCA 22.01-a3.

Carruth is clearly removed with force from his porch (habitation), and within a second or two of that removal he fires at the person who unlawfully removed him. It’s clear Carruth didn’t want to be removed, and an assault had taken place to remove him.

With the presumption that this was a reasonable use of deadly force TCA 9.32-b, and Carruth just being tossed ~5-8 feet away, some possible attempts by Read to gain control of the firearm, and the verbal threat to use deadly force (take the firearm and use it by Read), that presumption would seem difficult to over come, but not impossible.

This appears to meet all the required elements of self defense under TX law. In this part of TX which is very conservative and pro-self defense.

1. The porch is included in the definition of a habitation under TX law. TCA 30.01-1B
2. 9.31 is met by TCA 9.31-a1B – Carruth is unlawfully and with force removed from his habitation (porch).
3. So we move to 9.32 – which has 2 ‘tests’ that have to be met, the first is TCA 9.31 has already been met, check. The second, is cleared by TCA 9.32-b and is presumed to be reasonable under the law.
4. So now we look at TCA 9.32-b1B Carruth has just been unlawfully and with force removed from his habitation (porch).

Also, I think somebody else mentioned that TCA 9.42 might also be open to Carruth since technically speaking Read appears to have committed burglary under TCA 30.02, which would offer another path to lawful deadly force.

(Hope this was a good first post)

isn’t read’s intent something to consider here?–all the “justification” conversation seems to presume read’s intent was to seriously injure/kill caruth–just don’t see that–read was lawfully on the premises–though obviously provoked(by the ex, caruth, the situation)he never struck caruth with his hands–he did head butt/chest butt caruth, but so what?–it’s caruth that retrieves a weapon and continues the confrontation–even firing a shot or two in warning–other than going for the weapon to disarm/sling caruth away what else were read’s options after being fired upon, and especially at arm’s length or less–if read truly meant to hurt/kill caruth, why did read relinquish his grip on caruth’s weapon? either caruth’s anger/intimidation/humiliation just got the better of him or he meant to shoot read from the get go–perhaps wrong about all that but is the way appears to me

    Grey_Man in reply to texansamurai. | November 30, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    This is so stupid it’s not even wrong.

      texansamurai in reply to Grey_Man. | November 30, 2021 at 4:29 pm

      have you ever personally been in a lethal force situation? ever had to decide what to do in an instant?

        Grey_Man in reply to texansamurai. | November 30, 2021 at 6:59 pm

        That has nothing to do with why your pile of word vomit above is stupid.

        isn’t read’s intent something to consider here?

        No. Only Carruth’s perception is relevant regarding lawful self defense.

        all the “justification” conversation seems to presume read’s intent was to seriously injure/kill caruth–just don’t see that

        Even though Read’s intent is irrelevant his own words were “I’ll take it from you and use it on you.” meaning the gun. Carruth is allowed to assume that Read meant what he said. After this Read did touch the gun – twice.

        read was lawfully on the premises

        False. Once Carruth commanded him to leave he was trespassing.

        though obviously provoked(by the ex, caruth, the situation)

        The videos do not demonstrate any provocation of Read by Carruth that would nullify lawful self defense.

        he never struck caruth with his hands–he did head butt/chest butt caruth,

        Per Texas law:

        Sec. 22.01. ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense if the person:
        (3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.

        Read assaulted Carruth. If you dispute this you are insane or a liar.

        Sec. 30.02. BURGLARY. (a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, the person:
        (1) enters a habitation, or a building (or any portion of a building) not then open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault;

        Read also committed burglary by assaulting Carruth on his porch.

        it’s caruth that retrieves a weapon and continues the confrontation

        Sec. 30.05. CRIMINAL TRESPASS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person enters or remains on or in property of another, including residential land, agricultural land, a recreational vehicle park, a building, a general residential operation operating as a residential treatment center, or an aircraft or other vehicle, without effective consent and the person:
        (2) received notice to depart but failed to do so.

        Sec. 9.41. PROTECTION OF ONE’S OWN PROPERTY. (a) A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property.

        It was completely legal for Carruth you retrieve the weapon to get Read to comply with the order that he terminate his trespass

        .what else were read’s options after being fired upon

        Read was free to leave up to the point he committed burglary and Carruth shot him.

        why did read relinquish his grip on caruth’s weapon

        Read did not relinquish his grip. Carruth had better leverage and yanked it away.

        either caruth’s anger/intimidation/humiliation just got the better of him or he meant to shoot read from the get go

        Confession through projection. You resent your weakness. You would have let Read beat the shit out of you and/or kill you.

        but is the way appears to me

        Because you’re stupid, insane, or dishonest.

        have you ever personally been in a lethal force situation? ever had to decide what to do in an instant?

        Yes. Yes.

    taurus the judge in reply to texansamurai. | December 1, 2021 at 10:32 am

    @texansamurai

    How would you suggest his “intent” be considered?

    His pre-habitation entry acts showed “intent” when he refused to leave when ordered lawfully

    His “words” showed “intent” when he said he would take that gun and use it on him ( no different than saying I’m going to shoot you with your own gun)

    His post-habitation acts showed intent ( assault, battery and removing from habitation with force)

    Remember his “lawful presence” ( which has never been verified in the first place) was gone when he himself said he didn’t believe his child was there. Even if it were in place- DID NOT ALLOW for Read to ENTER the HABITATION ( on the porch)

    An argument can be made about physical presence for child pick up in a driveway, yard or clearly “exterior” property in many jurisdictions. None of that allows ENTRANCE of a habitation.

    Then there’s the unknown wording of the order because unless specifically NAMED in referenced order ( by location and owner because the family court cannot allow access to anyone’s property regardless of reason) then no such “right of presence” ever existed.

Anonymous Bosh | November 30, 2021 at 7:07 pm

Two odd moments:
– The chickens buck, buck, buck-CAW-ing
– And the porch videographer’s rather resigned sigh (with a hint of eye-roll?) immediately after the shooting. Different reaction than we see in more common killin’s.

Because you’re stupid, insane, or dishonest.
____________________________________

none of the above–you’re one of those clowns who’s looking for an excuse–because you’re holding a weapon you feel entitled/obligated to waste a guy over an argument–your sa is pathetic–this is not some blitz attack in a bar/alley/parking lot–read’s unarmed–he’s angry, true, but he’s not advancing, rushing you, nothing–he’s standing there–if the only option YOU have is to shoot him, then who’s the weak one? just because YOU’RE afraid/rattled/shook, don’t assume everyone else is limited to your skill level/experience

    It’s best to “tag” (i.e. identify via @[screename]) to ensure that your comment is properly understood in its context. IF you can’t use “reply” because a thread is too deep, simple @ the commenter to whom you are replying.

    Grey_Man in reply to texansamurai. | December 1, 2021 at 9:31 am

    you’re one of those clowns who’s looking for an excuse–because you’re holding a weapon you feel entitled/obligated to waste a guy over an argument

    More confession through projection.

    You: Rant like a emotionally incontinent child.

    Me: Explains relevant facts and law.

    You: Continue to rant like an emotionally incontinent child.

That was not self defense. Just go inside and call the cops.

taurus the judge | December 1, 2021 at 9:02 am

After discussing this with numerous people and answering basically from the perspective of forensics and enforcement experience (and having some similar experiences to deal with personally), I see where people are not seeing the plain facts (as they apply to law specifically and only in Texas). Its easy to get confused the way the law is often written, legal definitions (as opposed to “street” usage”) and the actual state specific definitions and qualifications regarding the actual definition of a statute. We aren’t even going to discuss the further body of case law, decisions and so forth. This is very simple on the one hand but can appear complex with a bit of sensory overload.

Much of the devil is in the details but it does show why the shooter most likely will never be charged because although not “perfect” this case (based solely on the information contained in the video)- this meets the grounds for self defense in Texas and would be positively arguable for same in other jurisdictions. (some leeway there for varying statutes)

First, my “intuition” is that this episode most likely could be a case of truly premeditated murder where a trap was set for the decedent (planned possibly by several actors on the shooters side) and the decedent ignorantly (and probably emotionally manipulated) walked right into it. As one who has been in similar situations where weapons fire has been exchanged and have seen real danger, I personally do not consider this shooting justified.
That said, the only question that matters is….

“Does this shooting meet the requirements under Texas law for use of deadly force in a self-defense capacity”?

Based on the totality and context of the information in the videos ONLY, it appears to, and it would require (under Texas law) affirmative evidence to the contrary (none has been produced thus far and opinions don’t count) to overcome the legal “presumption of justification” given to the shooter under Texas law.

Start with the baseline data.

Specifically, the decedents “right” to be there. That’s a question (at best) at this point that only can be fully addressed by the wording of the visitation order which has not been produced.

Primer for those who have never dealt with this. A Family court visitation order is ONLY BINDING on those in the order. It doesn’t give anyone any “authority” (expressed or implied) to do anything. I PRESUME the order was between the mother and father but until we know, we don’t.

Did the order specify a PLACE for pick up along with the time? (or was it by mutual agreement of the parties)- that will determine right there is there was any justification in being at the shooters house. If the order did not specify the shooters residence as the place for pick up or there was an agreement prior, then It’s not automatic.

Under the assumption he was legitimately there initially, he appears to have lost said justification by his own admission that “the police are on their way to her mothers house as where he believed his son was” (or words to that effect).

If the decedent clearly didn’t believe his son was physically present for scheduled pick up, then any legitimate “justifiable presence” argument clearly ended right then and there. He no longer had any reason to be there on the shooters property and should have left and gone to the mother’s mothers house to meet the police he said were “on the way”.

(That puts the shooters command to “get off my property” in a much more just position ESPECIALLY if ( either one or both) “knew” the child wasn’t there and is not a named person in the visitation order.

I feel certain the respective DA has carefully reviewed this information and as no charges have been filed yet most likely assisted the shooter. ( not a statement but an observation)

taurus the judge | December 1, 2021 at 9:32 am

Part 2- I must operate and color my perceptions based on the earlier post that the decedent simply had NO LEGITIMATE CLAIM (based on his own words) to be physically present. The CHILD was the justification for him being there so any “justification” follows the child (except and until a specific place is mentioned in the order but even then, vanishes when the child is not present)

This supports self-defense because if there is no further justification for presence, the decedents refusal to leave combined with degrees of belligerence can clearly be viewed as provocative leading a “reasonable person to believe further escalation is probable. (a calm person should have left to go where he thought his son was by his own admission).

Combine his verbal behavior, refusal to leave and violate the shooters clear ORDER to “get off my property” clearly establishes a state where the shooter is justified in believing a danger is present.

As has been pointed out correctly already, lets sew these patches together.

Decedent was not only in commission of criminal trespass (defined by law) but forcefully entered the habitation (force meaning anything other than permission to enter and habitation defined by Texas law) That’s statutory burglary combined with other crimes.

At this point the shooter obtaining a weapon is moot- you can say on the porch or in the bedroom- the decedent was IN THE HABITATION. The shooter had every right to arm himself, present deadly force and stand his ground (under Texas law)

INSIDE THE HABITATION (that’s important because that’s highly defensible space) the decedent commits assault and battery along with a “terroristic threat” (that comment about taking the rifle and using it on him qualifies under Texas statute). That nipple rub stuff is textbook assault and battery. (remember the shooter is in his castle and the decedent has NO RIGHT to enter the habitation)

The warning shot- It shouldn’t have been fired but “we” are calling it a warning shot. One can bet the shooter will say (on advice of counsel) it wasn’t a warning shot but he was trying to use non-lethal means to remove the attacker by shooting him in the foot and missed (or some other lame answer). Then again, this was inside the habitation so most likely allowable under the totality of the circumstances.

The decedent uses force and throws the shooter off the porch (forced removal from habitation- many places that constitutes kidnapping)

So, when I look at this unemotionally just based on laws as written (and some case law) considering the totality of everything, this shooting appears to be “legally” justified under Texas law.

Its easy to put personal beliefs in place of codified law and second guess from a video with a clear mind but that’s not the situation the shooter faced at the time in question.

To reverse review, I see no evidence or law ( from the video or Texas code exclusively) that removes the shooters legal presumptive justification ( given by the State law unless evidence says otherwise) for use of deadly force in this situation when taken fully in context with all parts.

Bad analysis. You spent hours thinking analyzing and writing up report explaining how homeowner was justified a second before he shot the bully but when he was shot somehow it wasn’t legal at that instant.

It’s unreasonable to be in a legal position to shoot, and instantly re-analyze the situation every millisecond afterwards. From the point you say the shooting was justified to when the shooting happened was what, 1 second? When attacked people need a little space to reasonably defend themselves without being paralyzed by analysis. The deceased attacked the guy with a gun at which point you claim the shooting would have been justified. I argue the shooting took place as fast as possible given the attacker had thrown the defendant off his porch while the defendant was trying to keep possession of his gun, after attacker said he was going to take it away from him and kill him with it. I see it as one moment, not two as you do.

If I’m on the jury, not guilty.

In Texas, an attached porch is considered part of the habitation, not the curtilage. Someone who focibly enters a porch has also entered the habitation.

In Texas, the law specifically allows the use of lethal force against an intruder that attempts to (or successfully does) remove a resident from a habitation.

When dealing with Texas it’s necessary to make adjustments to basic understanding of the laws of self defense.

    jl in reply to jl. | December 3, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    Although it should be noted that if there was some sort of conspiracy to lure Read to the property and provoke a lethal confrontation, all of the above goes by the wayside, and it becomes murder.

    Cornpop in reply to jl. | December 4, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Was homeowner not thrown off the cartilage by the guy trying to disarm and kill him?

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