American Killer Sentenced
Tuesday night, February 25 in Stephenville, Texas, a jury delivered a verdict and found Marine Corporal Eddie Ray Routh guilty of capital murder of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. Judge Jason C. Cason accepted the jury’s verdict and sentenced Eddie Ray Routh, 27, to life in prison without parole for the crime.
A former Marine was found guilty Tuesday in the 2013 shootings and killings of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who was the author of “American Sniper,” and Chad Littlefield, a friend of Kyle’s. It took an Erath County jury in Texas less than two hours to convict Eddie Ray Routh of capital murder.
Routh, 27, had admitted to the killings at a gun range in 2013 but pleaded not guilty. His attorneys and family members asserted that he suffers from psychotic episodes caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other factors. But prosecutors argued that whatever episodes Routh suffers are self-induced through alcohol and marijuana abuse.
Kyle made more than 300 kills as a sniper for SEAL Team 3, according to his own count. After leaving the military he volunteered with veterans facing mental health issues, often taking them shooting. Kyle and Littlefiend took Routh, who had been deployed to Iraq and earthquake-ravaged Haiti, to a shooting range after Routh’s mother asked Kyle to help her son cope with PTSD and other personal demons.
[/one_fourth][three_fourth_last]Erath County assistant District Attorney Jane Starnes and three defense attorneys made their case. They stated, “That is not insanity. That is just cold, calculated murder. Routh is guilty of capital murder and he was not by any means insane.” Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash said that this defendant “gunned down two men in cold blood, in the back, in our county. Find him guilty.”
Prosecutors also noted that Routh had apologized to Kyle’s family which is evidence that is said to be of a “guilty mind.”
Routh’s attorneys stated that he didn’t kill those men because of who he wanted to be, but rather he killed those men because he had a delusion. He thought that they were going to kill him. His attorney also pointed to the Routh’s use of Kyle’s pickup truck after the shooting to purchase tacos at a drive-through window and run assorted errands as evidence of delusional behavior.
Attorneys also discussed how useful it would have been for Routh’s mother to have told Chris Kyle about her son’s history of violence. Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle’s widow, stormed out of the courtroom in the middle of the defense’s closing arguments, whispering an expletive and slamming her hand on the wall as she walked out the door.
If you would like to see why there was a request for a mistrial check out the link below.