Routh Murder Trial: Both Victims Were Armed When Shot in the Back

Eddie Ray Routh Trial
AP Photo/Tom Fox

The second day of the murder trial of Eddie Ray Routh put law enforcement officers with a vast amount of evidence on display. Testimony offered by Texas Ranger Michael Adcock revealed that American Sniper hero Chris Kyle and his friend, and fellow Seal, Chad Littlefield were armed at the time of the shooting but were shot in the back. Both victims were shot several times before Routh fled the scene in Kyle’s pickup truck.

Lancaster Police Detective Jesse Chevera was waiting for Routh when he returned to his home on the evening of February 2, 2013, when Routh arrived driving Kyle’s truck, according to an article Melody McDonald Lanier in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Eddie, I don’t want to hurt you,” Chevera told Routh, who had shut off the vehicle and cracked the window in the driveway of his home. “We all grew up together. Your parents are going to be hurt if we don’t get this thing resolved peacefully. Eddie. Eddie. Give me the keys.”

Routh decided, instead, to speed away and lead police on a high speed chase that took police to the southern part of Dallas County. Before fleeing the scene, Routh said he had “taken a couple of souls and he had some more souls to take,” according to Lancaster Lt. Michael Smith, the supervisor on the scene.

Ranger Adcock, who led the investigation at the crime scene at the shooting range near Glen Rose, told the jury they gathered vast quantities of evidence. “We ran out of tents because we had so much evidence,” Adcock testified, referring to the triangular yellow markers used to identify evidence such as shell casings on the ground.

Court testimony revealed that Kyle was shot six times by a .45-caliber pistol. He was shot in the jaw, side and back. He was found in a grassy area near the platform where shooters fire their weapons. Littlefield was shot seven times with a 9 mm pistol. His wounds were to the head, back and face. Littlefield was standing at the shooting platform.

On the ground next to Kyle’s body was a different .45-caliber pistol that was empty, according to a team coverage report on CNN. It appeared that Kyle may have just completed firing the weapon when he was shot. Two western-style revolvers were also found on the ground and were empty from having been fired. Both Kyle and Littlefield were wearing an additional handgun in their waistbands when their bodies were found.

The shooting range is part of the 11,000 acre Rough Creek Lodge. A hunting guide found the two men lying motionless on the ground and called 911 for assistance. When police arrived, the two men were already dead. Frank Alvarez, the resident manager of the lodge said Kyle had “exclusive access to the range when he came out.” Kyle would frequently bring former soldiers to the range to try and help them with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related issues. Routh had reportedly been diagnosed with PTSD.

That Routh shot and killed the two men is not in dispute. Defense attorneys will attempt to prove that Routh was mentally ill at the time of the shooting.

Several medical experts, from both sides, are expected to offer testimony as to the defendant’s mental state. The trial is expected to run at least through next week. If convicted of the murders, Routh would face life in prison without parole.

Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.