The generally peaceful city of Lufkin, Texas, was made to witness a horrifying murder when Myrtle Ruby was found dead inside her home on November 30, 1986. Although the police initially looked at personal connections, they soon realized that it was a burglary gone wrong and focused their attention on finding the perpetrator. Netflix’s ‘I Am A Killer: Declared Competent’ chronicles the gruesome murder and follows the ensuing investigation, which honed in on the killer. If you are intrigued by this case and want to know more, we have you covered.
How did Myrtle Ruby Die?
Myrtle Ruby was 74 years old at the time of her murder and lived alone in Lufkin, Texas. While she was a widow, local people knew her to be kindhearted and loving to everyone around her. Myrtle was always known to extend a helping hand and led quite an active lifestyle even at such an advanced age. In fact, she was on her way back from the church on the fateful day when a brutal attack snatched away such a lovely life.
On November 30, 1986, Myrtle returned home from church and soon became aware of a foreign presence inside her house. She could hear sounds coming from a different room and gathered that a burglary was in progress. However, deciding to check in on the problem herself, the 74-year-old woman walked towards the sound only to be shot directly in the eye. Moreover, the attacker also struck her as she fell to the floor before making a quick escape.
By the time law enforcement officials arrived, they had declared Myrtle dead, and an autopsy determined that the bullet wound, along with blunt force trauma, claimed her life. On the other hand, detectives found the house to be in disarray, indicating a robbery. Later, authorities also revealed that the killer had used a .22-caliber rifle sawed-off rifle in the slaying.
Who Killed Myrtle Ruby?
While investigating Myrtle Ruby’s murder, authorities noticed that her car was missing and gathered that the assailant might have stolen it during the robbery. The police immediately put out an alert for the car, and it was located in David Lee Lewis’ possession. Moreover, detectives also learned that although David had gone out hunting with his grandfather on the day of the murder, he was using a .22 caliber sawed-off rifle, which matched the one used in the murder.
Furthermore, the police also found other forensic evidence that tied David to the crime. Thus, convinced of David’s involvement in Myrtle’s murder, the police brought him in for questioning. However, David went on to deny the accusations against him and kept insisting on his innocence. However, the cops refused to see eye to eye and ultimately arrested him for murder.
Where Is David Lee Lewis Today?
Once produced in court, David Lee Lewis pled not guilty but was convicted of capital murder. As a result, he was sentenced to death in 1987. However, some of David’s court documents went missing shortly afterward, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed his conviction and sentence in 1993. However, in the subsequent retrial in the same year, David pled guilty to the charges against him and was again put on death row for capital murder.
Since then, David Lee Lewis and his lawyers have tried their best to get his death sentence overturned on the ground of intellectual disability. Although David has always admitted to committing the murder, he maintains that he did not deserve to be put on death row because of his intellectual disability. The show stated that David’s IQ fell between 69 and 80, which is considered a borderline number when it comes to Intellectual disability.
Moreover, his lawyers argued that while sentencing such a person to death is reportedly unusual, David showed zero signs of relapsing into his previous criminal behavior. Besides, from the looks of it, David has also been pretty remorseful of his actions. Ultimately, it seems like the arguments did work, as current prison records show that in 2021, David’s death sentence was commuted and dialed down to life in prison. Thus, at present, he is incarcerated at the Wynne Unit in Huntsville, Texas, and will be eligible for parole in 2041.