The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

February 4, 2013

Iraq War vet accused in shooting on suicide watch

FORT WORTH, Texas — The Iraq War veteran charged with killing a former Navy SEAL sniper and his friend on a Texas shooting range had to be shocked with a stun gun and restrained in his jail cell overnight after becoming aggressive, a sheriff said Monday.

Eddie Ray Routh, 25, is on suicide watch in the Erath County Jail, where he's being held on $3 million bond, Sheriff Tommy Bryant said. Routh is charged with one count of capital murder and two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of Chris Kyle, author of the best-selling book "American Sniper," and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range Saturday in Glen Rose.

Routh, a member of the Marines Corps Reserve, appeared ready to assault jailers Sunday night when they entered his solitary confinement cell because he refused to return his food tray, Bryant said. After warnings, jailers used a stun gun once and then put Routh in a chair that restrains his arms and legs, Bryant said.

Bryant said has an attorney but hasn't met with him at the jail in Stephenville, about 75 miles southwest of Fort Worth, and he has not said anything to investigators.

Authorities say the three men arrived at the sprawling Rough Creek Lodge on Saturday afternoon, and a hunting guide discovered the bodies of Kyle and Littlefield about two hours later and called 911. Bryant said Sunday that Kyle and Littlefield were shot more than once.

Routh then drove Kyle's pickup to his sister's house in Midlothian and told her that he killed two people, and she called police, Erath County Sheriff's Capt. Jason Upshaw said Monday. Routh was arrested after a short police pursuit in Lancaster, near his home.

Routh joined the Marines in 2006 and rose to the rank of corporal in 2010. His military specialty was small-arms technician, commonly known as an armorer. He had been stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and served in Iraq from 2007-08 and in the Haiti disaster relief mission in 2010.

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