Accused gunman's criminal case and defense start to take shape

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by JASON WHEELER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwheelertv

WFAA

Posted on February 4, 2013 at 11:27 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 5 at 4:36 AM

STEPHENVILLE — As 25-year-old former Marine Eddie Routh remained incarcerated in the Erath County Jail Monday night, new details began trickling out about the double murder that landed him in the lock-up.

Investigators said Routh hardly knew the two military men who were kind enough to treat him to a Saturday afternoon shooting session at a gun range in Glen Rose as a sort of therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

The session ended with the violent deaths of former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield.

"I've been told he only met them a couple of days prior, so that's the kind of thing we're having to piece together now," said Erath County Sheriff's Office investigator Capt. Jason Upshaw.

It's not clear if Routh is being cooperative with the investigation now. Initially, authorities said they had to subdue him with a Taser to protect jail guards, and that Routh was put on suicide watch.

But they report some progress since then.

"He's doing a lot better today," Upshaw said. "We've had professionals out to look at him today. He met with his attorney. He's doing a lot better."

In a telephone interview, Routh's attorney told News 8 he met with his client Monday and that it was a very one-sided conversation, with the lawyer doing most of the talking.

He said Routh was treated as recently as a month ago, but didn't specify for what. He added that Routh is still on medication.

The attorney also told us that mental health will be an issue in the defense of his client.

Routh's family said PTSD has changed him tremendously. His aunt, Sundae Hughes, said the man in jail is not the man she knows.

"It is PTSD... definitely, that's what caused it," she said. "That's not Eddie; that's not who he is. That may be what's happened to him now, but that's not who he is."

E-mail jwheeler@wfaa.com

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