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Jury Sees Video of Eddie Routh Confessing to Killing Chris Kyle, Admitting It Was Wrong

Plus: Review all the key points in the murder trial of Eddie Ray Routh.

Prosecutors play the tape of the police interview with former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh at his capital murder trial at the Erath County, Donald R. Jones Justice Center in Stephenville, Texas, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Routh, 27, of Lancaster, is charged with the 2013 deaths of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range near Glen Rose, Texas. (AP Photo/Star-Telegram, Rodger Mallison, Pool)

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (TheBlaze/AP) -- After several days of evidence focused on the mental health of the former Marine accused in the fatal shootings of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, the trial of Eddie Ray Routh resumed Monday in Texas.

Texas Ranger Danny Briley, who interviewed Routh in the hours after the killings, testified on Monday that the defendant confessed to shooting the men. Further, he testified that Routh admitted he "knew it was wrong to kill them, that he wished he hadn't done it," which is potentially devastating to the defense's claim that the suspect was in a state of "psychosis" so severe that he wasn't aware his actions were criminal.

Jurors also watched Routh's videotaped confession on Monday. When asked if he knew right from wrong, Routh replied, "Yes sir," Dallas Morning News' Tasha Tsiaperas reported. He also apparently said, "I would tell them I'm sorry for what I've done," when asked what he would tell the victims' families.

Prosecutors play the tape of the police interview with former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh at his capital murder trial at the Erath County, Donald R. Jones Justice Center in Stephenville, Texas, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Routh, 27, of Lancaster, is charged with the 2013 deaths of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range near Glen Rose, Texas. (AP Photo/Star-Telegram, Rodger Mallison, Pool)

However, Routh also talked about people "eating" his soul and said he first opened fire because he felt that one of the men was going to "take down" his soul.

Criminal law experts say the case hinges on whether the defense can prove Routh, 27, was insane at the time and did not know the killings at a gun range constituted a crime. His confession could pose problems for their case.

The prosecution said in its opening statements that the evidence in the case would show Routh, while "troubled," "intentionally" killed Kyle and Littlefield and knew right from wrong.

Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash, right, questions Texas Ranger Danny Briley about the crime scene and apprehension of the suspect during the capital murder trial of former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh at the Erath County, Donald R. Jones Justice Center in Stephenville, Texas, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Routh, 27, of Lancaster, is charged with the 2013 deaths of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range near Glen Rose, Texas. (AP Photo/Star-Telegram, Rodger Mallison, Pool)

Former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh, right, leaves for lunch during his capital murder trial at the Erath County, Donald R. Jones Justice Center in Stephenville, Texas, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Routh, 27, of Lancaster, is charged with the 2013 deaths of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range near Glen Rose, Texas. (AP Photo/Star-Telegram, Rodger Mallison, Pool)

Here is a look at key points in the case:

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WHO WAS KYLE?

Kyle served four tours in Iraq and made more than 300 kills as a sniper for SEAL Team 3, according to his own count. He earned two Silver Stars for valor. After leaving the military, he volunteered with veterans facing mental health problems, often taking them shooting. He took Routh to the shooting range at the request of the troubled veteran's mother.

The case has drawn intense interest, partly because of Kyle's memoir. An Oscar-nominated film based on the book has grossed more than $300 million in North America.

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PERSPECTIVES ON ROUTH

Family members say Routh suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq. Defense attorneys say Routh, who was taking anti-psychotic medication, was insane when Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, took the former Marine to the shooting range to provide support and camaraderie. Routh, his lawyers say, believed the men planned to kill him.

Prosecutors say Routh was a troubled drug user who knew right from wrong, even with a history of mental illness.

Some of Routh's psychiatrists at Green Oaks Hospital, where he was admitted in September 2012 and in January 2013, are expected to testify.

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THE CRIME

On Feb. 2, 2013, Kyle, Littlefield and Routh drove to Rough Creek Lodge and Resort, which has a 1,000-yard shooting range. About 5 p.m., a resort employee discovered the bodies of Kyle and Littlefield on the ground amid scattered weapons; each had been shot several times. About 45 minutes later, authorities say Routh pulled up to his sister's Midlothian home in Kyle's truck and told her he had killed Kyle and Littlefield before driving away.

On Thursday, prosecutors presented a video in which officers spoke with Routh as he sat in Kyle's pickup. He refused to leave the vehicle and eventually sped off, with police in pursuit. The video shows a police vehicle ramming the pickup, which became disabled along the side of the road.

Chris Kyle (Image source: Associated Press) Chris Kyle (Image source: Associated Press)

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TRIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Testifying on Monday, Ranger Briley revealed that Routh confessed to shooting the men.

"He stated that he knew it was wrong to kill them, that he wished he hadn't done it," Briley said under questioning by the prosecution.

Texas Ranger Danny Briley, left, talks about important locations in the crime as Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash listens during the capital murder trial of former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh at the Erath County, Donald R. Jones Justice Center in Stephenville, Texas, Monday, Feb.16, 2015. Routh, 27, of Lancaster, is charged with the 2013 deaths of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range near Glen Rose, Texas. (AP Photo/Star-Telegram, Rodger Mallison, Pool)

Last week, a former deputy testified that he overheard Routh after he'd been taken into custody say he shot the men because they wouldn't talk to him as the three drove together to the shooting range.

Kyle's widow, Taya Kyle, testified about her husband's passion for helping veterans and gun safety. Sometimes choking up and wiping away tears, Kyle testified that her husband and Littlefield were close, and enjoyed spending time with veterans as they eased back into civilian life.

Prosecutors filed documents saying Routh smoked marijuana, drank excessively and had a history of killing small animals. On the day of the killings, Routh had been drinking and smoking marijuana and threatened his girlfriend with a knife, one of the documents says.

A Texas Ranger testified that authorities found marijuana, a near-empty bottle of whiskey and medication for schizophrenia while searching Routh's small wood-framed home after the shooting.

The testimony could show that Routh deliberately put himself into a violent state, said Park Dietz, a forensic psychiatrist who examined Andrea Yates, who was found not guilty in 2006 by reason of insanity in the drowning deaths of her five children.

"Voluntarily induced intoxication is not an excuse for the mentally ill," he said.

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WHAT'S AT STAKE

Jurors have three options: find Routh guilty of capital murder, find him not guilty or find him not guilty by reason of insanity. If convicted, Routh faces life in prison without parole. Prosecutors aren't seeking the death penalty. Even if he's acquitted, Routh could remain in custody. The Texas criminal code stipulates that in cases involving violent crimes where defendants are found not guilty by reason of insanity, the court can initiate civil proceedings to have them committed.

One last thing…
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