Eddie Routh Guilty of Capital Murder in American Sniper Shooting
Eddie Ray Routh
Just after 9 p.m. Tuesday night, an Erath County jury found Eddie Ray Routh guilty for the February 2013 shootings of American Sniper author Chris Kyle and Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield. Routh never disputed that he shot Kyle and Littlefield. At trial, he and his defense team claimed he was legally insane and didn't know right from wrong when he killed Kyle and Littlefield at a shooting range.
The jury disagreed, despite potentially compelling evidence of Routh's paranoid schizophrenia presented by the defense. Routh had been through multiple hospitalizations for his mental illness. Routh convinced the defense's psychiatric expert -- Dr. Mitchell H. Dunn, psychiatrist at Terrell State Hospital -- that he shot Kyle and Littlefield because he believed they were part of a world-domination-seeking group of pig-human hybrids and wanted to kill him. Dunn said Routh acted in self-defense, because he genuinely feared for his life. He did not know, Dunn said, that killing Kyle and Littlefield was wrong.
Prosecutors in the case said that the pig-human story was made up. Instead, they claimed that Routh committed the murders because he was high on a mix of marijuana and other drugs. Routh consistently claimed mental illness to get out of trouble, they said.
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Routh received the only sentence on the table, life without the possibility of parole.
Don Littlefield, Chad's father, gave a victim impact statement.
"Now you will have the rest of your wasted life to remember his name. Let me remind you his name was Chad Littlefield," he said.
Littlefield's stepbrother Jerry Richardson said Routh's claim he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder was a "disgrace to men who served with honor."
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