Attorneys for Eddie Ray Routh, the 25-year-old man accused of killing Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield on Feb. 2, 2013, announced Friday they would pursue an insanity defense.
Judge Jason Cashon heard from the defense and District Attorney Alan Nash on whether to allow a jury to hear statements Routh made to law enforcement officials following his arrest.
One of Routh's attorneys, Warren St. John, said his client's statements on the night of his arrest were not voluntary based on his mental state. He argued that while law enforcement did nothing wrong during questioning, Routh was not making statements that were coherent or made sense.
Nash, however, argued that the Texas Ranger questioning Routh asked him twice if he understood his miranda rights and numerous times after that if he understood that shooting Kyle and Littlefield was wrong. When asked if he understood his rights, Routh nodded according to the Ranger. Several times during the interrogation, when asked if he understood what he'd done was wrong, Routh said he did and even said he wanted to apologize to the families of his victims.
Nash presented an audio and video recording of the interrogation as evidence.
In the recording, Routh said he told his sister he "had to kill a man today. It wasn't a want to, it was a need to, to get out of that situation out there today or I was going to be the one out there to get my head shot off."
Routh repeatedly admitted to being the one to shoot both men at Rough Creek Lodge shooting range.
"How many did you have to kill?" the Ranger asked in the video.
"Two. I was right up close to them I didn't mean to be so close. Afterwards I fled. I didn't know what to do. My adrenaline was pumping so high. I didn't know…" Routh said.
"You know what you did today is wrong, right?" the Ranger asked later in the video.
"You shot Chris and Chad, right?"
"Yeah," Routh said.
After hearing from both sides, Cashon announced he would meet with attorneys in his chambers. He said he would present a written ruling before jury selection begins in May.