Area Man Freed, Murder Charge Dismissed; Shooting Was Self Defense

Jeremy Thomas Fitzgerald (Jail photo)
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GATESVILLE (May 1, 2013)—A murder charge against a Gatesville man has been dismissed and the defendant freed after state prosecutors determined the shooting of which the defendant was accused was actually self defense.

Fitzgerald had been set to appear in Gatesville’s 52nd District Court today but his case has now been removed from the docket.

Coryell County District Attorney Dustin Boyd asked a special state prosecutor to handle Jeremy Thomas Fitzgerald’s case because Boyd said he had a conflict on interest.

Fitzgerald, 28, was charged with the May 27, 2012 shooting death of Adam Wade Ruffin, who died at the emergency room at Coryell Memorial Hospital after he was shot outside a mobile home in Gatesville.

Fitzgerald was indicted in August 2012, but after extensive investigation the state prosecutor said the shooting was the result of a fight between the two men and Fitzgerald was only defending himself, as well as a third party, from Ruffin’s attack.

Chief Coryell County Deputy Sheriff Joe Blakley said at the time of the incident Fitzgerald was arrested at the scene after deputies discovered Ruffin's body.

Sheriff's deputies and emergency medical technicians were called to the New Texas Station RV and Trailer Park just after 2:30 a.m. on May 27 where they found a man who had been shot.

Blakley said an ambulance crew initially planned to take Ruffin straight to Scott and White, in Temple, but shortly after they left the scene they realized the wounded man could not be stabilized and turned around to take him to CMH where emergency room doctors were not able to revive him and he died.

Latham said Ruffin suffered at least two gunshot wounds.

Blakley said the two men had been at a bar the night before and at some point went to Fitzgerald's trailer, where they began to fight.

Witnesses told investigators the two separated after throwing some punches but Ruffin later charged at Fitzgerald, who by that time had grabbed a .45 caliber pistol and shot him, Blakley said.