Suspect in SEAL Chris Kyle’s murder ‘traded soul for new truck’
By ANGELA K. BROWN and JAMIE STENGLE Associated Press February 4, 2013 6:34PM
Updated: February 4, 2013 6:35PM
The Iraq War veteran charged with killing a former Navy SEAL sniper and his friend on a Texas shooting range told a relative that he “traded his soul for a new truck,” according to police documents.
Eddie Ray Routh, 25, is charged with one count of capital murder and two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of ex-Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, author of the best-selling book “American Sniper,” and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range Saturday.
Authorities say the three men arrived at the sprawling Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose on Saturday afternoon, and a hunting guide discovered the bodies of Kyle and Littlefield about two hours later and called 911. They were shot multiple times, and numerous guns were at the scene, according to an Erath County arrest warrant affidavit obtained by WFAA-TV.
Routh then drove Kyle’s pickup to his sister’s house in Midlothian and told her that he killed two people, and she called police, the affidavit says. Routh also said he wanted to drive to Oklahoma to avoid Texas authorities, the affidavit says. Routh was arrested after a short police pursuit in Lancaster, where he lives.
Police records from Lancaster show Routh was taken to mental hospital on Sept. 2 after threatening to kill his family and then commit suicide. Authorities found Routh walking nearby with no shirt and no shoes, and smelling of alcohol. Routh told authorities he was a Marine veteran who was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Eddie stated he was hurting and that his family does not understand what he has been through,” the report said.
Routh’s mother told police that her son had been drinking and became upset when his father said he was going to sell his gun. She said Routh began arguing with them and said he was going to “blow his brains out.”
Police took Routh to Green Oaks Hospital for psychiatric care.
Dallas police records show Routh was taken back to the same mental hospital Jan. 19 after a woman called police and said she feared for Routh’s safety.
Routh is on suicide watch in the Erath County Jail, where he’s being held on $3 million bond, Sheriff Tommy Bryant said.
Routh, a member of the Marines Corps Reserve, has an attorney but hasn’t met with him at the jail in Stephenville, about 75 miles southwest of Fort Worth. Routh has not said anything to investigators, Bryant said.
Stengle reported from Midlothian, Texas. Associated Press writers Juan Carlos Llorca in El Paso, Texas; Christopher Sherman in McAllen, Texas; Martha Waggoner in Raleigh, N.C.; and AP researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed to this report.