‘American Sniper’ trial: Routh confessed to deputy why he shot Kyle, Littlefield

By Dan Malone

Contributing Editor

Eddie Ray Routh in his Erath County mugshot

Eddie Ray Routh in his Erath County mugshot

Eddie Ray Routh said he fatally shot “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and friend Chad Littlefield because they wouldn’t talk to him on the drive from his parent’s home to the shooting range where the two men died.

“I shot them because they wouldn’t talk to me. They wouldn’t talk to me on the way to the range,” Routh was quoted as saying to an Erath County law enforcement officer. “I feel bad about it, but they wouldn’t talk to me.”

Routh’s statements marked the dramatic end of the first week of his capital murder murder trial for the Feb. 2, 2013, murders at Rough Creek Lodge on the outskirts of Glen Rose.

Former Erath County Sheriff Deputy Gene Cole testified Friday afternoon about hearing Routh explain his actions, according to a live blog post by journalism student Kelsey Poynor at Tarleton State University. She was listening to testimony in the media overflow room at the Erath County Courthouse annex

Poynor and other student journalists spent the week live blogging about the trial for Texan News Service, the student-run multi-media news organization at Tarleton. You can read their posts about testimony this week, and follow their live coverage of the case next week, at www.texannews.net/live-blog-texas-v-routh.

Earlier in the week, witnesses testified that Kyle and Littlefield exchanged text messages as they drove Routh from his parents’ home in Lancaster to Rough Creek.

Kyle texted Littlefield that Routh was “straight-up nuts.” Littlefield responded by texting Kyle, “He’s right behind me, watch my six,” military slang for “watch my back” since Routh was sitting behind him.

District Judge Jason Cashon permitted live video only of the trial’s opening arguments. You can watch a recording of that video at http://bit.ly/1B6Gir4.

The trial resumes Monday. Texas Ranger Danny Briley, who is from Glen Rose, is expected to testify. A video of a confession that Routh made to Briley in a rambling interview after Routh was taken into custody is expected to be played for the 10-woman, two-man jury. To stay on top of this story, watch for updates on http://texannews.net.

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