Taya Kyle, the widow of the late Chris Kyle, delivered an emotional testimony on Wednesday, February 11, about her husband’s final moments before he was shot to death.
Chris, a Navy SEAL veteran, inspired the recent hit movie American Sniper, which grossed over $300 million at the box office. Kyle served four tours in Iraq as a sniper, and documented his battles in his memoir by the same title.
Upon returning from his last tour, Kyle devoted his spare time to helping wounded veterans. On Chris’ final day, after attending his children’s sports games, he and his friend Chad Littlefield took Eddie Ray Routh, 27, to Rough Creek Lodge and Resort to practice shooting at the 1,000-yard rifle range, according to the Washington Post.
“We just said we loved each other and gave each other a hug and kiss, like we always did,” Taya said, describing the last time she saw her husband alive through tear-filled eyes.
“I’m sorry, I’m not nervous. I’m just emotional.”
According to ABC News, Chris knew that something wasn’t right with Routh shortly after they left for the range. He had reportedly texted Littlefield in the truck, saying, “This dude is straight-up nuts,” to which Littlefield replied, “He’s right behind me, watch my six.”
Taya explained that she became worried about Chris when she spoke to him on the phone and he sounded uneasy. She later texted him, asking if he was okay, but she never got a response. It wasn’t until later that evening that she found out Chris hadn’t responded because he had been murdered.
Routh, who is claiming to have been experiencing psychosis on the day of the murders, shot Kyle five times in the back and side and once in the side of the head. He then shot Littlefield four times in the back, once in the hand, and once in the head.
Kyle and Littlefield were found by Justin Nabours, a nuclear contractor who previously worked at the range. He discovered the bodies when he took a father and son out to meet Kyle. Nabours testified in court that he found Kyle “face-down, his nose in the dirt,” and then told his clients to call 911.
Routh had left the range in Kyle’s Ford F-350 pickup truck with his pistol. According to the Associated Press, Routh then drove to his sister’s house, where he confessed to killing them men and said “people were sucking his soul.”
According to defense attorney Tim Moore, Routh had been drinking and doing drugs on the day the shootings took place. The night before, Moore explained that Routh had exhibited erratic behavior, proposing to a woman and telling her that he was “seeing things, he was hearing things… telling her not to talk out loud, to write things down on paper because people were listening.”
If convicted of capital murder, Routh faces life in prison without parole.
[Photo by Getty Images]