‘American Sniper’ Killer Told Police He ‘Took a Couple of Souls’

     STEPHENVILLE, Texas (CN) – Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield never stood a chance after a troubled Marine veteran blasted them with a total of 13 shots, the Chief Dallas County Medical Examiner testified Thursday.
     Dr. Jeffrey Barnard concluded the second day of testimony in the capital murder trial of Eddie Ray Routh, charged with killing Littlefield and Kyle, the subject of the Oscar-nominated movie “American Sniper,” based on Kyle’s autobiography.
     Prosecutors projected autopsy photos of the slain men and showed jurors diagrams illustrating the six bullet wounds that killed Kyle and seven shots that took Littlefield’s life.
     Barnard, who performed autopsies of both victims the day after the killings, said Kyle and Littlefield both received more than one “rapidly fatal injury” that left them with no chance of survival, even with “substantial medical intervention.”
     “None,” he said flatly.
     Jurors listened to police conversation with Routh after the murders in a 30-minute dash-cam video clip played in court. They also saw video from an officer’s body camera in which Routh questions his sanity on the night he gunned down the men at an exclusive gun range.
     Lancaster police Lt. Michael Smith said officers didn’t know if Routh was intoxicated, high on drugs “or just an odd guy.”
     “He said he had taken a couple of souls and he had more souls to take,” Smith said.
     Routh’s attorneys say the 27-year-old is not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors say he is a deliberate killer who admitted killing the two men, then fleeing in Kyle’s stolen Ford truck and spending $2.36 on two bean burritos at Taco Bell.
     Erath County District Attorney Allen Nash showed the drive-through receipt for the fast-food purchase Thursday morning at the trial.
     “I don’t know what’s going on … I don’t know if I’m going insane,” Routh said during the tense standoff with police the night of Feb. 2, 2013, which ended on a Texas highway after the vehicle broke down.
     Routh drove the truck to his parent’s house, where he picked up his dog, drove off and returned to find authorities already on the hunt for him.
     Routh is heard speaking about the apocalypse, hell and voodoo as now-retired Lancaster police Det. Jesse Chevara, who was Routh’s next-door neighbor, tries to coax him out of Kyle’s stolen truck.
     “Is this about hell walking on Earth? Hell is walking on Earth right now as we speak,” Routh said to Chevara, refusing to get out of the stolen truck.
     “I don’t want to hurt you,” Chevara said. “I grew up with you. As a friend, as a neighbor, we have always been able to talk.”
     “There’s no trust in this world anymore,” Routh replied. He insisted on seeing his parents, who were out of town.
     “Is the apocalypse on top of us right now?” Routh asked.
     Routh then peeled out of the neighborhood, a plume of black smoke trailing behind the truck.
     “I jumped in my car and the chase was on,” Lancaster patrol Officer Flavio Salazar told jurors. He estimated the chase hit 100 mph.
     “It was just going. It was flying down the road,” Salazar said.
     With sparks in the air and fluid splashing the police cruiser’s windshield, Routh was rammed by a police car after making a rolling stop, but the chase wasn’t over. Routh sped from residential streets to the highway, continuing to evade police, with a cell phone and his dog in the truck.
     He eventually surrendered to police, hands in the air, when mechanical failure halted Kyle’s truck.
     Kyle is famous for being the most lethal sniper in U.S. history. He is played by Bradley Cooper in the Clint Eastwood-directed movie depicting his life, based on Kyle’s 2012 autobiography. It has grossed nearly $300 million at the box office since its December 2014 release.
     Testimony was to resume Friday morning in Stephenville.

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