The man accused of killing "American Sniper" Chris Kyle and another man believed his two victims were plotting to kill him as part of a world takeover by "hybrid pigs," a psychiatrist testified on Thursday.
On the seventh day of Eddie Ray Routh’s murder trial in Stephenville, Texas, psychiatrist Dr. Michael Dunn told jurors that Routh believed he was acting in self-defense and felt relieved after he killed the two men on Feb. 2, 2013.
Dunn reviewed Routh’s medical records from the years before the killings and interviewed him for six hours after it. He said that in his opinion, Routh was suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the crime.
Dunn testified that Routh believed Kyle and his second victim, Chad Littlefield, were "pig assassins, hybrid pigs sent here to kill people." Routh also believed that his girlfriend was a pig hybrid and on the morning of the crime tried to break up with her, Dunn said.
Lawyers for Routh, an ex-Marine and Iraq veteran, are mounting an insanity defense. Dunn said that Routh had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, depression and marijuana and alcohol abuse.
"It was clear he was psychotic," Dunn said, speaking of a July 2011 diagnosis at a VA hospital, which concluded that Routh suffered from psychotic disorder.
He also testified that Routh believed that his coworkers were cannibals and that his neighbor was a drug dealer with the Mafia.
During cross examination, Dunn, a forensic psychologist, said Routh lied to him about how traumatic his military service was, and Dunn told the jury he does not believe that the defendant ever suffered from PTSD.
The defense intended to call another mental health expert earlier in the day, but prosecutors objected that he was not qualified, and the judge agreed.
Kyle, a former Navy SEAL, was reputed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. history. His 2012 autobiography, "American Sniper," is the inspiration for the Oscar-nominated movie that was released this year.
The defense rested on Thursday and the prosecution will call rebuttal witnesses on Friday. Closing arguments are expected to begin on Monday.
— Jacob Rascon and Erin McClam