Chris Kyle’s killer sentenced

Texas jury discards insanity plea from ex-Marine charged with the slayings of ex-SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield.

Despite petitions from family and a mental-health professional, a jury in Stephanville, Texas sentenced Eddie Ray Routh, Chris Kyle’s and Chad Littlefield’s killer, to life in prison.  The two-week trial saw prosecutors portray Routh as able to distinguish right from wrong, admitting to his crimes, apologizing for them and fleeing from the location of the crime.  In contrast, the defense depicted Routh as a deeply-disturbed man suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and haunted by macabre experiences as a Marine in Iraq and Haiti and who revealed his turbulent life in word and deed.

Both Kyle and Littlefield had invited Routh to the Texas shooting range, where Routh killed both men, at the request of Routh’s mother, who had expressed concern for her son’s mental state.  The Routh family was distressed about remarks Routh had made regarding anarchy, and how he feared men were planning to kill him.

The jury, which had the benefit of three possible verdicts, guilty of capital murder, not guilty or guilty by reason of insanity, found Routh guilty of capital murder after slightly more than two hours of deliberation.  When informed of the verdict, the Kyle family and Chris Kyle’s widow did not release a statement; however, the Littlefield family expressed gratitude to the jury and satisfaction with the jury’s decision in remarks delivered outside the courtroom.

Upon hearing the verdict read, Routh and his family expressed no reaction; Eddie Ray Routh’s defense attorneys stated they will file an appeal.

[AP]