Transcript for How Strong Is Alleged 'American Sniper' Killer's Defense?
Owens, ABC news, stephenville, Texas. More from our legal team, ABC news legal analyst Dan Abrams and Nancy grace on HLN in Atlanta. Nancy, the prosecution beginning with the most powerful punch possible. Absolutely, by bringing on the wife taya, the jury gets to know the victim in this case and that's very rare. You can search the constitution. It mentions nothing about the crime victim. This is the only way the jury gets to know, to see, to feel the victim and in this case, that's extremely important and what they're going to learn about the defendant in this case, routh, is that he used the claim of PTSD so many times to get out of trouble, even to get out of a DUI. He would use this claim of PTSD. And, Dan, PTSD, not the same as insanity. That's right. PTSD is not enough to say I shouldn't be held responsible for my actions. It has to be my PTSD was so bad that I didn't understand right from wrong. But, look, in this case, this is a comparatively good insanity claim and what I mean by that is the insanity defense is always tough -- Emphasis on comparatively. Hang on one sec. It's really tough in a state like Texas, it's really hard to win an insanity defense but they have evidence here of not just mental illness, but of comments he made afterwards that may suggest that he didn't understand what he did was so terrible. That's the important thing in this case and to have the victim himself having said this dude is straight up nuts shall that's not a legal or medical assessment but is sure helpful to the defense. You're not buying it, Nancy. This is what I think about that. What they're going to do is bring in surveillance video from the local taco bell that shows that right after gunning these two men down in cold blood, shooting them in the back, in the back of the head he takes their car, their black pickup truck, drives it through taco bell and enjoys a burrito. He's not in the middle of some -- he's not having a flashback and also PTSD from what? He never even saw battle when he was in Iraq and he never even got off the ship in Kuwait. But I don't think eating at taco bell -- No PTSD. Eating at taco bell doesn't necessarily mean you're not insane. I'm not going to make a judgment about eating at taco bell but the bottom line is that doesn't change the reality that he may -- Dan, he told his sister what happened, Dan. He got to his sister's house after he enjoyed his taco -- his burrito at taco bell and says, I just killed two people. I just sold my soul for a truck and, again, PTSD from what? He never got off the ship in Haiti. He was in a green area when he was in Iraq so trauma from what? He was doing this kind of behavior, drugs and alcohol before he was ever even in the military. But PTSD isn't the point here. The point is did he have a level of mental illness from whatever cause, it could be PTSD, it could be not PTSD, the legal question here is did he understand right from wrong when this happened and there are, you know, look, I'm not saying he's going to win this because it's a long shot but there are real arguments here to suggest that this is a guy who had somewhere between mental illness and possible criminal insanity. He has a tattoo that says the high life. It was drugs and alcohol. This trial not over yet, Nancy grace and Dan Abrams, thanks very much.
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