Sniper Suspect Had 2 Stays in Mental Hospital

After shootings, Routh said he 'traded his soul for a new truck'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2013 3:58 AM CST
Sniper Suspect Had Been in Mental Hospital
This photo provided by the Erath County Sheriff’s Office shows Eddie Ray Routh.    (AP Photo/ Erath County Sheriff's Office)

Eddie Ray Routh was taken to a mental hospital twice in the five months before he was accused in the murder of American Sniper author Chris Kyle and a friend, according to police records seen by the AP. The 25-year-old Iraq veteran was first hospitalized after threatening to kill his family and himself last September, police records state. Authorities found him wandering with no shirt or shoes, smelling of alcohol. He told officers he was a veteran who was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He was returned to a mental hospital in mid-January after a woman told police she was worried for his safety.

Kyle and friend Chad Littlefield were trying to help Routh with his PTSD after Routh's mother reached out to him, but they barely knew each other and it's not clear how much Kyle knew about Routh's condition, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. After the shootings, Routh showed up at his sister's house in Kyle's vehicle and told her he had "traded his soul for a new truck," an arrest warrant states. Routh is being held on one count of capital murder and two counts of murder, and was Tasered and tied up after trying to attack guards Sunday night. (More Eddie Ray Routh stories.)

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