Lubbock man Receives Plea Deal During 2019 Murder Trial
A Lubbock man accepted a plea deal in a 2019 murder case. 21-year-old David Lecarl Ruth was originally charged with the murder of 17-year-old Darrean Lee Nichols back in April of 2020. Ruth, who was 19-years-old at the time, is said to have gotten into an altercation with Nichols and 18-year-old Brianna Garza claiming it was in self-defense.
KAMC news reported that Prosecutor Barron Slack mentioned that the dispute was over a drug deal of marijuana that Ruth's attorneys then claimed led to the suspect being robbed and held at gunpoint. According to Texas law, if Ruth's claims presented by his attorney did result in him being held at gunpoint by the victim then he would have the ability to use deadly force in that instance. Prosecutor Slack stated that he could not disprove the claims of self-defense in the case claiming it was possible for the death of Nichols to have been an act of defense.
The murder charges were dropped after Ruth accepted a plea deal for Tampering with Evidence. The tampering claims came after Prosecutor Slacks stated that both sides of the case hid weapons from police and that Nichols was not directly rushed to a hospital after he was shot. Due to lack of physical evidence Ruth was instead charged for Tampering with Evidence and sentenced to 5 years in prison. Ruth will receive two and a half years of credit for time already served for his time spent in the Lubbock County Detention Center.