Sniper Suspect Killed 'Because They Wouldn't Talk to Me'
Witness recalls Eddie Ray Routh's words after arrest
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2015 4:52 PM CST
Former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh comes back from a break during the second day of his capital murder trial at the Erath County Donald R. Jones Justice Center in Stephenville, Texas, Feb. 12, 2015.   (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Tom Fox, Pool)

(Newser) – The man accused of killing American Sniper Chris Kyle and a friend says he did it because the two men wouldn't talk to him, according to a witness for the prosecution. Gene Cole, a former sheriff's deputy, told a jury Friday that he overheard remarks by accused gunman Eddie Ray Routh, 27, when he was jailed for the shooting in 2013, Fox News reports. "I heard Mr. Routh say, 'I shot them because they wouldn't talk to me,'" says Cole, who's now a police officer. "'I feel bad about it, but they wouldn't talk to me. I'm sure they've forgiven me.'" In other testimony during the Texas trial, James Watson, Routh's uncle, says Routh had smoked up with his girfriend earlier that day and stormed out after the pair had an argument, NBC News reports.

Watson says Routh later called him and said, "I am driving a dead man's truck." The court heard that Routh did drive Kyle's truck to his Lancaster, Texas, home, after the shooting. "I thought [Routh] was talking about himself and he was the dead man he was talking about," says Watson, who adds that Routh said unusual things pretty regularly. Watson also testified that upon returning from military deployments, Routh said he'd "lost his desire for life—didn't seem to enjoy much after that." The trial hinges on Routh's claim that he was insane at the time of the killings and thought the men were going to murder him. The ex-Marine has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and been diagnosed with PTSD.