Chris Kyle’s killer, Eddie Ray Routh, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole yesterday, February 24. A Texas jury found the man guilty of killing Chris Kyle, the former U.S. Navy SEAL and his friend Chad Littlefield.
Eddie Ray Routh, 27, is a former U.S. Marine and was found guilty of killing the two men. Routh shot Kyle and Littlefield multiple times at a gun range outside Forth Worth in February of 2013. Prosecutors revealed that Routh waited for Kyle to unload his weapon completely before attacking both men from behind.
During the trial, a bone-chilling text message that Kyle sent Littlefield while they were on the gun range was made public. Kyle had sensed something was wrong with Routh and send Littlefield a message in which he said that:
This dude is straight up nuts.
Christ Kyle was a former ranch who enrolled to become a Navy SEAL. Kyle is credited with the most confirmed kills of any U.S. military sniper. He wrote a book detailing his deployments and life that was turned into an Academy Award nominated movie starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood, American Sniper. After Kyle returned home he helped to counsel troubled veterans by going on trips, shooting at the range and talking to them.
Yesterday came the verdict that took the jury a little more than two hours to reach. Prosecutors chose not to ask for the death penalty and instead chose to pursue a life sentence without parole. Defense lawyers claimed that Routh should be declared innocent by reason of insanity and that he was a paranoid schizophrenic.
Prosecutor Jane Starnes said that Routh acted deliberately and coldly when he shot the two men down. Defense lawyers told the jury that Chris Kyle’s killer was diagnosed as psychotic and had been admitted to hospitals four times. They claimed that he suffered a paranoid episode when he went to the gun range and did meet the state’s legal definition of insanity.
Routh did not testify for the trial and has been in prison since he arrest that happened a couple of hours after the shooting. During the trial he took notes, was dressed in a dark suit and sported a crew cut.
Image Source: Reuters