STEPHENVILLE, Texas (AP) – A police officer told a jury Thursday that a former Marine charged in the deaths of two men, including “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, told him he had “taken a couple of souls” and had more to take.
A police video displayed for the jury showed police in Lancaster, near Dallas, trying to coax Eddie Ray Routh from a pickup in the hours after famed Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield were found dead at a shooting range in February 2013.
Officers in the video are seen trying to talk Routh into surrendering as he makes comments such as, “Anarchy has been killing the world”.
“He told us he’d taken a couple of souls and he had more souls to take,” Lancaster police Lt Michael Smith testified Thursday.
Defence attorneys have said Routh, 27, was insane when Kyle and Littlefield took him to a shooting range to provide support and camara-derie. Routh believed the men planned to kill him, his attorneys say. Routh faces life in prison without parole if convicted.
The case has drawn intense interest, largely because of Kyle’s memoir, “American Sniper”, about serving four tours in Iraq. The Oscar-nominated film based on the book has grossed nearly $300 million.
Officers testified that hours after the bodies were discovered, Routh returned to his home in Lancaster, driving Kyle’s pickup. Officers spoke with him as he sat in the pickup but he refused to leave the vehicle, eventually speeding off with police in pursuit. He stopped minutes later after one police vehicle rammed the pickup.