Uncovering the Motive in Murders of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield
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After eight days of testimony, the reason for Eddie Ray Routh's shooting of Chad Littlefield and Chris Kyle remains unclear.

Summary: Opposing theories on Eddie Ray Routh’s motives emerge as the prosecution and defense argue in court about the killings of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield.

According to CNN, eight days into the trial of Eddie Ray Routh, it is still unclear as to why the former Marine shot and killed two men who were trying to help him out.


On February 2, 2013, Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield gave Routh a ride to a gun range so that the men could bond over firing rounds. Littlefield and Kyle wanted to help Routh with what was believed to be posttraumatic stress disorder. Routh’s mother had asked the pair to take her son to the range, according to the Washington Post.

En route to the range, Kyle sent Littlefield a text message, saying that Routh was “straight up nuts.” Taya, Kyle’s widow, “could tell something was up” when she spoke with him that afternoon. Taya testified that Kyle seemed “irritated,” and then never responded to her text that asked him if he was okay.

Routh ended up shooting Kyle five times: four times in the back and once in the face. Routh shot Littlefield five times in the back.

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Routh’s defense team has argued that he suffers from paranoia, schizophrenia, and psychosis. In response, the prosecutors state that Routh is “troubled” and has a “personality disorder,” and that he does not suffer from insanity.

Jesse Ventura won a defamation lawsuit against Kyle.

The jury is hearing two different arguments regarding Routh’s mental health. Dr. Randall Price, a forensic psychologist who is testifying as the prosecution’s medical expert, has explainer that Routh’s excessive marijuana use led to a “substance-induced psychotic disorder.” According to ABC News, Price testified that Routh knew his actions were wrong.

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In contrast, Dr. Mitchell Dunn testified that Routh’s “psychosis was not substance-induced.” Dunn said, “It is my opinion that he was suffering from a severe mental disease or defect that caused him not to know his conduct was wrong.”

Video taken from inside the police car after Routh was arrested show the former Marine stating, “I’ve been so paranoid-schizophrenic all day, I don’t know what to even think of the world right now. I don’t know if I’m insane. Or sane. I don’t know what’s even sane in the world right now.”

Gene Cole overheard Routh talking about the shootings for four months after they occurred. Cole was an officer in the Erath County Jail where Routh remained since his arrest. Cole said, “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’m sure they’ve forgiven me.’”

The murder trial of Aaron Hernandez began in January.

In addition, New Yorker magazine conducted an interview with Routh over the phone in May 2013. Excerpts of the conversation between Routh and New Yorker writer Nicholas Schmidle were played in the courtroom.

Routh stated he was annoyed with Littlefield and Kyle during the hour and a half drive to the gun range. He added that he did not trust them after they met. Routh explained, “That’s how I felt that day. It was the smell in the air that morning. It smelled like shit.”

In addition, Routh said, “It smelled like sweet cologne. I guess it was love and hate, you know. I was smelling love and hate. They were giving me some love and hate.”

On the way to the range, Routh complained that Littlefield and Kyle tried to “force feed” him, even though he was not hungry, by stopping at a fast food restaurant.

Routh’s attorneys have implied that Routh’s close proximity to firearms set off his paranoia and psychosis. Tim Moore, one of Routh’s attorneys, said, “At the time of this tragedy, Eddie Routh was insane. Not only was he suffering from a severe mental disease or defect, not only did he not know his conduct was wrong, he thought he had to take their lives because he was in danger.”

Attorney Tim Moore

Attorney Tim Moore

Routh apparently perceived the men’s shooting at the range as a “showdown.” Routh remembered saying to Kyle and Littlefield, “So we’re shooting pistols here, huh? Again, that’s pretty much saying, ‘Duel mother****er.’”

A man murdered his father when his allowance was cut by $200 per month.

Routh added that he was angry at Littlefield for not participating at the range. “I asked him a couple of times, ‘Hey, are you gonna shoot?’ This isn’t a spectator sport. It’s a shooting sport. You shoot. And that’s what got all, you know, wired up.”

Routh then said he “took care of business and then I got in the truck and left.”

Closing arguments are expected by the end of this week.

Source: CNN

Photo credit: Star-telegram.com (Tim Moore), inquisitr.com



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