The former Marine accused of killing "American Sniper" Chris Kyle and his friend said he shot the two men because they wouldn't talk to him, a police officer testified during his murder trial in Texas Friday.
Eddie Ray Routh, 27, is charged with capital murder in the killings of Kyle and Chad Littlefield on Feb. 2, 2013, at the shooting range of Rough Creek Lodge and Resort, southwest of Dallas.
Gene Cole, a police officer who formerly was a deputy for the Erath County Sheriff’s Office, said he heard Routh discuss the killings while he was in jail on June 22, more than four months after shootings.
"I heard Mr. Routh say, 'I shot them because they wouldn’t talk to me. I was just riding in the back seat of the truck and nobody would talk to me. They were just taking me to the range so I shot them. I feel bad about it, but they wouldn't talk to me. I am sure they have forgiven me,'" Cole said.
Routh has admitted to the killings. The defense will argue that Routh is not guilty by reason of insanity.
Earlier Friday, Texas Ranger David Armstrong testified that after the shootings, investigators who searched Routh's home found drug paraphernalia, marijuana, a nearly-empty bottle of whiskey and anti-psychotic medication prescribed to Routh.
Routh’s uncle, James Watson, testified that he was called to Routh's house on the morning of the shootings to "calm him down" after he had an argument with his girlfriend. Watson said the pair smoked marijuana, that Routh left "abruptly" after smoking and called him later saying, "I am driving a dead man’s truck."
After killing Kyle and Littlefield, Routh drove Kyle’s pickup truck back to his home in Lancaster, Texas. "I thought he [Routh] was talking about himself and he was the dead man he was talking about," Watson said.
Watson said it wasn't unusual for Routh to say odd things. After Routh came home from his military deployments, Watson said Routh had "lost his desire for life — didn't seem to enjoy much after that."
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— Elisha Fieldstadt and Amy Calvin