STEPHENVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas judge will decide whether to let jurors hear the tape of a man accused of killing famed Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle admit to the shooting.
Eddie Ray Routh appeared in court Friday in Stephenville, southwest of Dallas.
The 25-year-old Routh is charged with capital murder for the killings last year of Kyle — the best-selling author of the memoir "American Sniper" who was reputed to be the deadliest sniper in the U.S. military — and his friend, Chad Littlefield.
His attorneys and prosecutors are arguing over a tape of his confession to a Texas Ranger the night he was arrested.
According to the Stephenville Empire-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1gYYe8R), Routh's defense attorneys say he was not coherent when he made the statements on the tape.
On the recording, Routh is heard admitting repeatedly to shooting both men. He said he had told his sister that 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."
When a Texas Ranger asked how many Routh had to kill, he said, "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."
Judge Jason Cashon said he would rule on whether to allow the tape before jury selection begins in May.
Information from: Stephenville Empire-Tribune, http://www.empiretribune.co