DALLAS (AP) — An attorney for the Iraq War veteran accused of killing a former Navy SEAL sniper and his friend at a Texas shooting range said Wednesday that he will ask for a court-appointed psychiatrist to examine his client.
R. Shay Isham, who was appointed by the court to represent Eddie Ray Routh, said the psychatrist's exam is necessary to determine whether Routh is competent to stand trial for gunning down Chris Kyle, author of the best-selling book "American Sniper," and friend Chad Littlefield.
Routh's other court-appointed attorney, J. Warren St. John, said Routh was released from the Dallas Veterans Affairs hospital against his family's wishes just two days before the shootings.
"There are just so many mental health issues associated with this case," St. John said Wednesday.
Routh, 25, is jailed on $3 million bond. He's charged with a capital murder count and two murder counts stemming from the killings at a rural shooting range Saturday about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
Members of Routh's family have told authorities that he was a troubled vet who had been hospitalized for mental problems and had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to records and 911 recordings.
Routh joined the Marines in 2006 and rose to the rank of corporal in 2010. He served in Iraq from 2007-08. He is now in the individual ready reserve.
Isham said he had a 15-minute conversation with his client Monday but learned little from it.
"It was pretty one-sided," he said. "It was more about process, logistics." Continued...