STEPHENVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – According to friends and family members, Navy sniper Chris Kyle died doing what he loved best — helping out a Marine in need. But a trip to the gun range one year ago ended in tragedy. On Tuesday morning, the man accused of killing Kyle was back in the courtroom.
Eddie Ray Routh’s capital murder trial is set to begin in less than three months. Lawyers in Stephenville on Tuesday met with a judge to go over dozens of pretrial motions.
Routh has been accused of shooting and killing the Navy SEAL sniper and his friend, Chad Littlefield, at a gun range in Glen Rose last February. Routh is a veteran of the Iraq War and, according to police records, has previously confessed to the shooting. He reportedly told officers that he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.
The suspect’s psychological state at the time of Kyle’s shooting is expected to be a part of the trial, which begins with jury selection on May 5.
Routh was escorted to the courthouse on Tuesday morning under tight security by Erath County sheriff’s deputies, after police officers conducted a search of the surrounding area. The suspect’s appearance was rather different from how he had looked in the past. Routh was clean shaven on Tuesday, and appeared to be much heavier.
During the hearing, defense attorneys tried to ask the judge to throw out any possible death penalty if Routh is convicted. Rather, they wanted an automatic life sentence declared if the suspect is found guilty. But that motion and many others were denied.
There is another pretrial hearing scheduled for March 7 where defense attorneys will ask the judge to suppress statements that Routh made after his arrest.
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