Randy McIlwain, NBC 5 News
Attorney's for Eddie Ray Routh, the Marine reservist accused of murdering former Navy Seal and best-selling author Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield, want Routh to have a court appointed psychiatric evaluation to see if he's fit to stand trial.
Attorneys for Eddie Ray Routh, the Marine reservist accused of murdering former Navy Seal and best-selling author Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield, want Routh to have a court-appointed psychiatric evaluation to see if he's fit to stand trial.
Routh's mental health is critical to his defense. His attorneys said just days before he was arrested for shooting Kyle and Littlefield to death at a north Texas gun range, Routh was discharged from inpatient care for mental health issues at the Dallas VA Hospital over the objections of his family.
"My client served his country exactly like Mr. Kyle did," said Routh's attorney, Warren St. John. "My client is still a Marine reserve. He's still actually part of the U.S. military and, for some reason, because of his possible mental health issue, he was kind of pushed to the side where other folks might not have been, and that really bothers me quite a bit."
Routh's mental stability has already impacted him while an inmate at the Erath County Jail. His decision to not to return a dinner tray to jailers led to officers using a stun gun on him and placing him in a restraint chair. That was followed by a "suicide watch" being placed on him and Routh continues to be held in segregated housing for his safety and the safety of other inmates.
Routh has had a mental health evaluation since arriving at the jail and has access to prescribed medication to help with his mental and emotional health.
The Erath County Sheriff, Tommy Bryant, said Routh refused to take his medication Wednesday and Tuesday, refused to meet with his family and attorney St. John.
"The case is new, and he's got some things he's dealing with, so we agreed with the sheriff's office that it wasn't anybody's best interest to try and compel him to talk to us," said St. John. "Which he doesn't have to do anyway, but he will have to eventually."
St. John said he's hopeful that meeting will take place sometime next week.
Saturday, funeral services will be held for Littlefield. A public memorial service for Kyle is scheduled for Feb. 11 at Cowboys Stadium at 11 a.m. A trust fund for the families of both victims has been established. The public can make donations at http://www.thecraft.com.
Routh continues to be held on a single count of capital murder and two separate murder complaints. His bond is set at $3 million.