Witness: 'American Sniper' defendant talked in jail on case

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (AP) – A law official says he heard the man on trial in the fatal shootings of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and another man say: "I shot them because they wouldn't talk to me."

Former sheriff's deputy Gene Cole testified Friday in the trial of Eddie Ray Routh, who is charged with murder in the deaths of Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, at a rural Texas shooting range two years ago. Cole, now a police officer elsewhere, said he was a patrol deputy for the Erath County sheriff's office and had been asked to help in the jail.

He says Routh noted he'd been riding in the back seat. Cole says Routh also said, "I feel bad about it, but they wouldn't talk to me. I'm sure they've forgiven men."

Additionally, Routh's uncle said at the trial that he and Routh smoked marijuana together before the shootings.

James Watson testified Friday that Routh's girlfriend had called him the morning of the shootings to say she was worried about Routh after a fight they had.

Watson said he went to Routh's suburban Dallas house, where he and Routh had a wide-ranging conversation about life, work and relationships while smoking marijuana together.

Watson said he went home and napped, only to be awakened by Routh who showed him a 9 mm handgun and the black truck he was driving. He said Routh told him he was "driving a dead man's truck."

When authorities searched Routh's home, they found marijuana, a nearly empty bottle of whiskey and a drug commonly used to treat schizophrenia.

A Texas Ranger testified Friday at the trial that authorities found the items in the hours after the bodies of Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield were found at a rural shooting range.

Routh's attorneys have been pursuing an insanity defense, saying the ex-Marine was suffering from mental illness. The prosecution says Routh was numbed by marijuana and whiskey at the time of the shootings and should be held accountable.

The case has drawn intense interest, largely because of the Oscar-nominated film based on Kyle's memoir that details his four tours in Iraq.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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