STEPHENVILLE, Texas - A forensics expert testified Tuesday that "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle had no time to react when an ex-Marine opened fire on him at a shooting range two years ago.
"He absolutely never saw this coming," Howard J. Ryan, a forensics expert from New Jersey, testified Tuesday in the trial of Eddie Ray Routh.
Routh is charged in the deaths of the famed Navy SEAL sniper and his friend, Chad Littlefield. The trial has drawn extra attention because of Kyle's memoir and the blockbuster film it inspired.
The trial resumed Tuesday after a day's delay due to icy weather. Court officials say closing arguments could begin as early as Tuesday afternoon.
Routh is charged with capital murder, but since prosecutors aren't seeking the death penalty, he faces an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted. His attorneys have mounted an insanity defense, arguing that he was psychotic at the time and didn't know right from wrong.
Ryan, a law enforcement veteran, testified about his analysis of the crime scene as a rebuttal witness for prosecutors. Ryan noted the six gunshot wounds on Kyle were all on the right side of his body, indicating that he had relatively no movement when shot.
Ryan said that in assessing the crime scene, he took Kyle's skills into account.
Littlefield was shot seven times, including in the back and the top of the head. Ryan says that the gunshot wounds at various locations on his body indicate the shooter was moving at the time.
He says it's logical to conclude the shootings happened at close range and the crime scene is a "very confined, very small area."
An earlier expert testified that both Kyle and Littlefield had loaded guns in holsters in their waistbands, but it didn't appear they were ever able to even remove them from their holsters.