'American Sniper' Trial: Former Deputy Says Eddie Ray Routh Killed Victims Because They Wouldn't Talk to Him

(Photo: REUTERS/Tom Fox/Pool)Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh (2nd L) appears in court on opening day of his capital murder trial at the Erath County Donald R. Jones Justice Center in Stephenville, Texas, February 11, 2015. Eddie Ray Routh, 27, is charged with murdering Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who was credited with the most kills of any U.S. sniper, and Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield in 2013.

Eddie Ray Routh, the man who confessed to fatally shooting real life "American Sniper" Chris Kyle, allegedly told a former deputy that he killed the former Navy SEAL and his friend, Chad Littlefield, because they would not speak to him. He also believes that his victims have forgiven him.

Gene Cole, a former deputy at the Erath County Sheriff's Office, testified before a Texas jury last week in Routh's capital murder trial and recalled what exactly the former marine told him about the murders, reported The Dallas Morning News.

He told jurors that he "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.'"

Kyle, who was 38 when he was killed, took Routh to a Texas gun range on Feb. 2, 2013, in a bid to help him overcome PTSD. Routh reportedly fatally shot the married father of two five times in the back and once in the head and also shot Littlefield four times in the back, once in the hand, once in the face and once on the top of his head.

The 27-year-old is pleading "not guilty" to both shooting deaths by reason of insanity and his attorneys argued last week that the "troubled" Marine was experiencing a psychosis allegedly brought on by PTSD and thus he could not be held accountable for the murders.

Shortly after the killings, Routh was captured on a police body camera rambling about voodoo, hell and a looming Apocalypse. The video was played in court on Thursday.

"I don't know if I'm going insane," Routh was seen telling a detective while sitting in Kyle's stolen truck.
During opening statements, a prosecutor told jurors that Routh "may have been mentally ill, but he still knew right from wrong" when he killed both men.

"The evidence will show that mental illnesses, even the ones that this defense may or may not have, don't deprive people from the ability to be good citizens to know right from wrong, to obey the law," said Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash "And at the very least not murder people."

Also last week, Kyle's widow, Taya Kyle, broke down on the witness stand during an emotional testimony.

(Photo: Reuters/Tom Fox/Pool)Taya Kyle, wife of slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, wipes away tears when viewing images of her husband during her testimony on the witness stand during the opening day of the capital murder trial of former Marine Eddie Ray Routh at the Erath County Donald R. Jones Justice Center in Stephenville, Texas, February 11, 2015. Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh, 27, is charged with murdering Kyle, who was credited with the most kills of any U.S. sniper, and Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield in 2013.

"We said we loved each other and gave each other a hug and kissed," Taya said, recalling the moment her husband unknowingly said goodbye for the last time.

Testimony will resume this week.

Kyle served four tours in Iraq before he left the military in 2009 to focus on his family. He later became an advocate for veterans' mental health and he often spent time with wounded war vets on the shooting range.

The story of Chris was captured in his 2012 best-selling autobiography American Sniper, which set the premise for Hollywood filmmaker Clint Eastwood's blockbuster film of the same name. It recently scored six Academy award nods and set a box office record by pulling in an estimated $105 million during its opening weekend.

Prosecutors said previously they will not seek the death penalty against Routh and if convicted he faces up to life behind bars.