“American Sniper” trial: Jury convicts Eddie Ray Routh; sentences him to life in prison

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STEPHENVILLE, Texas (CNN) — It took a Texas jury less than three hours to find Eddie Ray Routh guilty of capital murder in the deaths of two men, including Chris Kyle, the author of the bestselling book “American Sniper.”

Former Navy Seal Chris Kyle was shot and killed Saturday, February 2, 2013 at a Texas gun range.

Former Navy Seal Chris Kyle was shot and killed Saturday, February 2, 2013 at a Texas gun range.

Judge Jason Cashon immediately sentenced Routh to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“We’ve waited two years for God to get justice for us on behalf of our son and, as always, God has proved to be faithful,” said Judy Littlefield, mother of victim Chad Littlefield. “We’re so thrilled that we have the verdict that we have tonight.”

Jurors deliberating the case had three choices: guilty, not guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity.

No one disputed that Routh shot and killed the men. But defense attorneys said Routh was insane.

Prosecutors dismissed that claim outright.

“Ladies and gentleman, that is not insanity. That is just cold, calculated capital murder. He is guilty of capital murder. He is not in any way insane,” said attorney Jane Starnes during closing arguments.

She claimed Routh knew the difference between right and wrong.

Starnes urged jurors to “follow the law,” allowing the law to guide them “to the true and correct verdict.”

For its part, the defense pointed to Routh’s long history of mental illness.

“He killed those men because he had a delusion. He believed in his mind that they were going to kill him,” said attorney J. Warren St. John.

Routh’s trial comes in the wake of the release of the film about Kyle, a former Navy SEAL who claimed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, with 160 confirmed kills in Iraq.

“American Sniper,” directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, is already the highest-grossing war movie.

Kyle’s autobiography by the same name spent weeks on bestseller lists. He had already risen to fame through his book when he died and was involved in charitable work to help former troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kyle and his friend, Littlefield, took Routh to the firing range as a kind of therapy.

The range is a small, remote part of the sprawling 11,000-acre Rough Creek Lodge, and the men were isolated.

A hunting guide found Kyle, 38, and Littlefield, 35, who also was a veteran, motionless and called 911. The men were dead when officers arrived.

Jason Morris reported from Stephenville, Texas. Dana Ford reported and wrote from Atlanta.

CLICK HERE for further coverage of this case via FOX6Now.com.

11 comments

  • Franko K.

    Too bad he didn’t plug himself and wipe his genes from the face of the earth. Now Texans have to pay for his care – should be in a simple cell – solitary for 23 hours except for meeting BUBBA in the prison yard once a day.

  • Mr.Semper Fidelis

    Ok everyone will disagree with me, but this former US Marine had some major head issues and I believe he should of been found insane, I am not soft of crimes, killings, yes he shot a not so known sniper until the movie came out, and another fine gent, but he also has PTSD, no this does not give his a pass, but PTSD is very real and he should be getting real help, fixed up and then sent to jail for max of 40 years, he served as a combat Marine and deserves that much, Semper fi. Just saying!

    • Donny

      Mr. Semper fidelis- change your name and move to Canada you are a disgrace to any person who has ever served. Yeah fix him up then send him to prison for 40 years? Where do you stupid liberals get your ideas. You should be punched for saying something so stupid and without merit.

      • whammerjammer

        He didn’t have PTSD as he was never in combat. Hopefully he’ll meet the same fate in prison than Jeffrey Dahmer met.

      • Mr.Semper Fidelis

        Wow Donnyboy, get out much, I am far from liberal, OK hang em on a street pole, who cares, bet you never served anywhere. I guess the movie changed your ways in life.

  • braken da law

    HEY JAMMERWHAMMER ,,,,I think u’v been doin to much jammer on ur whammer……. Just for the record he did a couple tours of duty , it never seems to amaze me how people can make statements and they have no idea what they are talking about!!!

  • Linda Smith

    He is immediately sentenced, but look how many years have gone by and we are still waiting for Jody Arias to be sentenced. Something wrong with our system.

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