STEPHENVILLE, Texas — A Texas jury ruled on Tuesday evening that Eddie Ray Routh is guilty of murdering “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. Despite everyone agreeing Routh killed the men, defense attorneys claimed Routh was insane.
Prosecutors claimed Routh knew the difference between right and wrong. Routh’s trial comes in the wake of the release of the film about Kyle, a former Navy SEAL, often referred to as the most deadliest sniper in U.S. history, with 160 confirmed kills in Iraq.
Jurors returned the verdict Tuesday in less than three hours against Eddie Ray Routh, whose attorneys had mounted an insanity defense and said he suffered from psychosis. Since prosecutors didn’t seek the death penalty in the capital murder case, the 27-year-old receives an automatic life sentence without parole for the Feb. 2, 2013 killings.
Prosecutors said Routh was drinking and smoking marijuana, the morning he killed Kyle and Littlefield. They argued he was paranoid because he was high and was angry about living with his parents, money, and his job. He then finally exploded after Kyle and Littlefield snubbed him.
Kyle took his two friends to the range as a kind of therapy. The range is part of the 11,000 acre Rough Creek Lodge and the group was isolated from the rest of the Lodge. 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.