Trial of ‘American Sniper’ killer begins in Texas

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As the murder trial for the death of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and fellow veteran Chad Littlefield continues this week, more details about the accused killer, ex-Marine Eddie Ray Routh, have been released. The defense team hopes that many of the details regarding Routh’s behavior after the murder will buttress their claims that Routh was temporarily insane at the time of the murders.

After Routh killed Kyle and Littlefield at Rough Creek Lodge shooting range near Dallas, Routh drove to a Taco Bell and ordered two bean burritos. Prosecutors argue that this behavior shows that Routh was perfectly capable of thinking clearly at the time of the murder.

Defense lawyers hope to paint an entirely different picture, highlighting the erratic behavior that Routh displayed when he drove to his sister’s house in Midlothian after the murder. He bragged about stealing Kyle’s black Ford F-350 pickup truck and explained that he “sold his soul for a truck.” Routh also admitted to killing the two men, prompting his sister to call 911 after he left.

Routh planned to flee to Oklahoma and stopped by his house to pick up a few items and his black labrador. When he returned to his house later to pick up a few items he forgot, police met him in his driveway. One officer entered into a conversation with Routh, and Routh began to talk about voodoo, the apocalypse and hell. “Everything’s just happening so fast … I don’t know if I’m going insane,” Routh is heard telling the police in a conversation recorded on the officer’s body-worn camera. The defense team has focused on these remarks.

Officers placed metal stop sticks in front of the rear tires of the pickup truck, although this didn’t prevent Routh from fleeing. After a six to nine-minute car chase, a police car rammed into Routh’s vehicle and disabled. Routh then quietly surrendered.

Routh has confessed to killing the two men on February 2, 2013, but has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

1. Routh picks up two burritos at Taco Bell
2. Routh drives to his sister’s house and tells her about the murders
3. Police talk to Routh in his driveway
4. Police place stop sticks under Routh’s car
5. Police chase Routh’s car to intersection
6. Police car rams into Routh’s car

VOICEOVER (in English):

Eddie Ray Routh’s lawyers are arguing that Routh was temporarily insane at the time of the 2013 double murder of ‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield.

Ex-Marine Eddie Ray Routh is accused of killing former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and another veteran, Chad Littlefield.

Routh’s lawyers argue that he was in the grip of a psychosis related to the severe PTSD he’s been struggling with since his stints in Iraq and Haiti.

After killing Kyle and Littlefield at Rough Creek Lodge shooting range, Routh drove to a Taco Bell and ordered two burritos.

Routh then drove to his sister’s house and immediately admitted to the murders. After Routh left, she promptly called 911 about what her brother had told her.

Routh drove to his house and picked up a few items and his dog. A police officer engaged Routh in a conversation while Routh was parked in his driveway.

During the conversation, Routh talked about hell, the apocalypse and voodoo. While they talked, two other officers placed stop sticks in front of his wheels.

Routh fled the scene and began a six to nine-minute car chase that ended at Interstate 35E near Interstate 20.

A police car rammed Routh’s vehicle to disable it. Routh then quietly surrendered.

Routh’s lawyers hope that his bizarre conversation with police and some of his other actions after the murders will help bolster his insanity defense.

SOURCES: CNN, ABC News, Dallas Morning News