"American Sniper" Murder Trial Moves Toward Jury - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Famed "American Sniper" author and a friend were killed at a North Texas gun range

"American Sniper" Murder Trial Moves Toward Jury

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    State Presents Rebuttal in "American Sniper" Trial

    The ex-Marine charged with shooting "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and another man was not legally insane, according to an expert for the prosecution. (Published Friday, Feb. 20, 2015)

    Experts for the state testified Friday that Eddie Ray Routh did not meet the Texas definition of insanity at the time "American Sniper" Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield were killed two years ago.

    Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Arambula was appointed by former Gov. Rick Perry to serve as president of the State Board of Medicine, which oversees all physicians in the state.

    As a consultant for the prosecution, Arambula reviewed records in the Routh case and interviewed the defendant at the Erath County Jail on Jan. 30.

    Arambula said Routh was was not insane at the time of the shootings but was intoxicated with marijuana.

    "With marijuana intoxication, it's 'game over' on an insanity defense," Arambula said.

    Arambula said Routh had a history of excessive marijuana use and admitted smoking pot the morning of the February 2013 shootings.

    The psychiatrist said he believes Routh did know right from wrong but said only one person knows exactly what led up to the shootings.

    "Mr. Routh is ultimately the only one who knows what happened in the second before he killed those two men," Arambula said.

    Forensic psychologist Randall Price also testified Friday as a rebuttal witness for the state.

    Price said Routh clearly showed that he knew his actions were wrong by running from the crime scene and trying to avoid arrest.

    Price interviewed Routh over two days in December 2014 at the Erath County Jail. Price was first contacted about the case by the Erath district attorney in March 2013, the month after the murders.

    Price said he reviewed Routh’s medical records, school and military records and spoke with Routh’s doctors.

    Price also concluded symptoms of mental disorders at the time of the crime were the result of excessive alcohol and marijuana use.

    “In the state of Texas we call that voluntary intoxication,” Price said.

    Price did find that Routh had personality, adjustment and substance abuse disorders but that none of those issues left him unable to tell right from wrong.

    Price said Routh never told him about delusions that the victims were “hybrid pig-men” as a defense expert testified Thursday.

    Price said Routh may have seen television programs including pig men before speaking with the defense expert.

    “It’s suspicious,” Price said.

    Both of the state’s experts said there is no evidence Routh saw combat as a U.S. Marine and both said Routh does not have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    “He was really upset with the Marines not sending him into combat,” Price said.

    The day of the murders, Price said Routh drank whiskey, smoked marijuana and got very little sleep.

    Routh told the experts he was fearful of Kyle and Littlefield, but they believe his concerns were largely the result of his drug and alcohol use.

    “I thought when I shot them, I thought, 'Jesus Christ' what have I done,” Price quoted Routh as saying. “And then he became immediately remorseful.”

    One more state rebuttal witness is expected Monday before closing arguments and jury deliberation.

    At the conclusion of the opening remarks, Judge Jason Cashon ordered all devices that could record or stream audio, or be used to report proceedings live, removed from the courtroom during the trial. Follow along with the trial as NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff, NBC's Jacob Rascon and The Dallas Morning News' Dianna Hunt and Tasha Tsiaperas tweet the latest updates from the overflow room outside of the courtroom. Their Twitter feeds can be seen below.

    Get the latest from NBC DFW anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android