VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

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Normal VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:19 pm

By DEAN SCHABNER
Feb. 3, 2013

A former Marine has been charged with three counts of murder in the killing of former Navy SEAL and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle, the most deadly sniper in U.S. history, and another man at an Erath County, Texas, gun range, police said.

"We have lost more than we can replace. Chris was a patriot, a great father, and a true supporter of this country and its ideals. This is a tragedy for all of us. I send my deepest prayers and thoughts to his wife and two children," Scott McEwen, co-author of "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History," said in a statement to ABC News.

Remembering Kyle for the number of Iraqi insurgents he killed misstates his legacy, McEwen said.

"His legacy is not one of being the most lethal sniper in United States history," McEwen said. In my opinion, his legacy is one of saving lives in a very difficult situation where Americans where going to be killed if he was not able to do his job."

Kyle and a neighbor of his were shot at a gun range in Glen Rose while helping a former Marine who was recovering from post traumatic stress syndrome, ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas reported.

The suspect, identified as Eddie Ray Routh, 25, was arrested in Lancaster, Texas, after a brief police chase, a Lancaster Police Department dispatcher told ABC News. Routh was driving Kyle's truck at the time of his arrest, police said.

Routh was arraigned Saturday evening on one count of capital murder and two counts of murder. He was brought to the Erath County Jail this morning and was being held there today on a combined $3 million bond, Officer Kyle Roberts said.

Investigators told WFAA that Routh is a former Marine said to suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Kyle helped found a nonprofit that provides at-home fitness equipment for emotionally and physically wounded veterans, but the director of the foundation said Kyle and Routh had not met through the organization.

"Chris was literally the type of guy if you were a veteran and needed help he'd help you," Travis Cox, the director of FITCO Cares, told The Associated Press. "And from my understanding that's what happened here. I don't know how he came in contact with this gentleman, but I do know that it was not through the foundation."

Authorities identified the other man who was killed with Kyle as 35-year-old Chad Littlefield, who Cox said was Kyle's neighbor and friend.

Kyle, 38, served four tours in Iraq and was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation.

From 1999 to 2009, Kyle recorded more than 150 sniper kills, the most in U.S. military history.

After leaving combat duty, Kyle became chief instructor training Naval Special Warfare Sniper and Counter-Sniper teams, and he authored the Naval Special Warfare Sniper Doctrine, the first Navy SEAL sniper manual. He left the Navy in 2009.

"American Sniper," which was published last year by William Morrow, became a New York Times best seller.

"We are devastated by the news of Chris Kyle's death," William Morrow executive editor Peter Hubbard said in a statement. "It was an incomparable honor to help share Chris's story of service and faith with the world. Chris was a hero as much on the home front as on the battlefield -- a man who dedicated his life in recent years to supporting veterans and donated the proceeds of American Sniper to the families of his fallen friends. He deserves our deepest respect. Our prayers are with his family and the entire military community. He will never be forgotten."

Kyle was also an advocate for his fellow service members suffering from PTSD, creating a foundation to help with their treatment.

In an interview on Guns.com, he discussed the difficulty troops face coming home from combat zones.

"All of a sudden you don't have no identity," he said "And you have to learn a whole new way to act."

Brandon Webb, a fellow SEAL who knew Kyle from SEAL Team Three then later when Webb was an instructor at the SEAL sniper course, called him a "larger than life Texan" and said he "will go down in history as one of the world's most accomplished military snipers, right next to Carlos Hathcock, and Lyudmila Pavlichenko."

"Chris was very adamant about supporting veterans issues," Webb said. "This was an subject close to his heart, and not many in our community realize how much of his time was spent on veterans' causes. ... Chris will be remembered as a great American Hero, and another friend lost but not forgotten."

Cox said Kyle's wife Taya and their children "lost a dedicated father and husband" and the country has lost a "lifelong patriot and an American hero."

"Chris Kyle was a hero for his courageous efforts protecting our country as a U.S. Navy SEAL during four tours of combat. Moreover, he was a hero for his efforts stateside when he helped develop the FITCO Cares Foundation. What began as a plea for help from Chris looking for in-home fitness equipment for his brothers- and sisters-in-arms struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) became an organization that will carry that torch proudly in his honor," Cox said in a statement.

The fatal shooting comes after week filled with gun-related incidents, as the national debate heats up on what to do about gun violence.

In the past week, a teen who participated in President Obama's inaugural festivities was shot to death in Chicago, a bus driver was fatally shot and a 5-year-old was taken hostage in Alabama, and a Texas prosecutor was gunned down outside a courthouse.

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Normal Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle' Killing Puts Spotlight on PTSD

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:18 am

By KATIE MOISSE (@katiemoisse)
Feb. 3, 2013
The shooting death of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, an advocate for veterans' mental health, has pushed the problem of post-traumatic stress disorder among American troops to the fore.

Kyle, who was known as America's deadliest sniper, was killed Saturday at a gun range in Erath County, Texas. The suspect, identified by police as 25-year-old Eddie Ray Routh, is a veteran who served in Iraq and Haiti and who police say may have been suffering from some type of mental illness from being in the military.

A second man, identified by police as 35-year-old Chad Littlefield, was also shot at point-blank range and killed. Kyle and Littlefield had taken Routh to the shooting range to aid his recovery, police said.

"My heart is breaking," Travis Cox, director of FITCO Cares, the non-profit foundation Kyle co-founded to help ease veterans back into civilian life, said in a statement. "Chris died doing what he filled his heart with passion -- serving soldiers struggling with the fight to overcome PTSD. His service, life and premature death will never be in vain."

Routh will be charged with two counts of capital murder, police said today.

While the details of Routh's mental health are unclear, up to 20 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD, according to a 2008 RAND study.

"The symptoms can range from mildly disturbing to wholly incapacitating," said Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, chair of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City and president elect of the American Psychiatric Association, describing the nightmares and flashbacks that can haunt soldiers long after their return to civilian life. "And we're still limited in our understanding of why it occurs, what it consists of and the best approaches to treatment."

One treatment approach involves the slow, steady, re-exposure of patients to their PTSD triggers, according to George Everly, associate professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

"It makes sense, in a way, re-exposing people to the thing they fear of in small doses, almost like an inoculation so the body says, 'this is uncomfortable, but I can handle it,'" Everly said. "Under proper, controlled conditions, re-exposure therapy is certainly one of the most popular treatments for PTSD when done by a professional."

Although Kyle was known to take veterans battling PTSD to the shooting range, it's unclear whether Routh suffered from the disorder and whether the activity was intended to expose him to any PSTD triggers, such as gunfire.

"Kind of have an idea that maybe that's why they were at the range, for some type of therapy that Mr. Kyle assists people with," Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant told reporters today. "I don't know if it's called shooting therapy, I don't have any idea but that's what little bit of information that we can gather so far."

The shooting is the latest in a string of tragedies stirring debates around gun control and mental health. But Lieberman said the mentally ill "do not contribute substantially to the overall rates of gun violence in this country."

"People with mental illness tend to be overrepresented in these sorts of tragedies largely because their symptoms have gone untreated -- they lack access to care or they lack insight to the fact they need care," he said.

Lieberman said discriminating against people with mental illness is "not the solution to violence in our country," but added that improving access to care for the mentally ill "would reduce these extremely rare but nevertheless tragic, senseless events."

Veterans have the option to seek treatment through Veterans Affairs hospitals, but Lieberman said many "fall through the cracks and never get connected to the help they need."

Several charities founded by veterans work to improve access to private mental health care, including FITCO Cares.

"It sounds like serviceman Kyle was among those trying to help his colleagues," Lieberman said. "That may be one of the cruelest ironies."

"This is a remarkable tragedy involving a true American hero who was reaching out, trying to help people of similar backgrounds, and it went terribly wrong," Everly said.

Kyle, author of the bestselling book "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History," leaves behind a wife and two children.

"We have lost more than we can replace," "American Sniper" co-author Scott McEwen said in a statement to ABC News. "Chris was a patriot, a great father, and a true supporter of this country and its ideals. This is a tragedy for all of us. I send my deepest prayers and thoughts to his wife and two children."

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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:33 pm

My Father was a Marine Corp Sniper before the phrase was coined. During WW2 he was labeled as a Marksman. He went out ahead of his platoon and picked off the enemy. Before the Navy Seals or Frog Men there were the RAIDERS. After the war was over the tattoo on his arm was with him always "Swift Silent Deadly"
I think it's so sad that Chris Kyle managed to survive 3 tours of duty only to return to the US and be killed by one of his own. That is more proof how twisted up a person's fate can be.
RIP

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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:42 pm

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Normal Suspect in Texas Veteran’s Killing Was Hospitalized

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:54 pm

By MANNY FERNANDEZ and KATHRYN JONES
Published: February 7, 2013

DALLAS — Eddie Ray Routh, the former Marine corporal accused of killing Chris Kyle, an author and retired Navy SEAL sniper, had been released from a veterans hospital here four days before the shootings over the objections of his parents, Mr. Routh’s court-appointed lawyers said.

Mr. Routh, 25, and his relatives told the police in recent weeks and months that he had been deeply troubled and was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to court documents. He had a series of run-ins with the authorities in parts of North Texas, and had threatened to kill himself at least once, police records show.

Mr. Routh had been undergoing treatment at the Dallas V.A. Medical Center and Green Oaks Hospital, a psychiatric center in Dallas. On Jan. 24, Mr. Routh was released from the Dallas V.A. center but soon returned, and he was again released on Jan. 29, said his lawyers, R. Shay Isham and J. Warren St. John. On both occasions, Mr. Routh’s father and mother, Raymond and Jodi Routh, had protested his release, the lawyers said.

“She was begging them not to let him loose,” Mr. Isham said.

Four days after Mr. Routh’s release, Mr. Kyle, 38, and a friend, Chad Littlefield, 35, took Mr. Routh to a rural shooting range to help the young man, one of the ways Mr. Kyle often assisted troubled veterans. For reasons that remain unclear, the authorities said, Mr. Routh turned a semiautomatic handgun on the two men, shooting both multiple times and fleeing in Mr. Kyle’s truck before he was captured hours later near his home in the Dallas suburb of Lancaster.

A spokeswoman for the federal Department of Veterans Affairs said that without a signed privacy waiver from Mr. Routh, they could not disclose any protected health information.

Mr. Routh remained in custody at the Erath County Jail in Stephenville on $3 million bond. Mr. Isham said that on Tuesday, Mr. Routh refused to meet with his mother and Mr. St. John, unless he was given a cigarette. “He’s trying to play an angle — ‘I give you something, you give me something,’ ” Mr. Isham said. “He wouldn’t see anybody.”

Eleven days after graduating from high school in the nearby town of Midlothian, Mr. Routh began boot camp in June 2006 at age 18. In his senior yearbook, there is a photo of him talking with a recruiter. “I want to be one of the few and the proud,” he was quoted as saying, when asked why he was joining the Marines.

Mr. Routh served nearly four years, becoming a corporal shortly before he was discharged in June 2010. He was in Iraq in September 2007, and was part of a disaster-relief deployment to Haiti after the earthquake there in January 2010.

Since then, Mr. Routh appeared to be struggling, and his relatives seemed concerned about his mental state. Eight months before the shootings, Mr. Routh’s mother called the Lancaster police in May to report a burglary and appeared to name her son as the suspect. Nine pill bottles were taken, according to the police report. In September, the Lancaster police returned to the house after Mr. Routh threatened to kill himself and had become upset when his father told him he was going to sell his gun.

Court documents suggest that Mr. Routh may have become fixated with Mr. Kyle’s black Ford truck, because he told his sister, Laura Blevins, and her husband that he had killed the two men and had “traded his soul for a new truck.” But the documents also make clear that Mr. Routh was paranoid. “He said they were out shooting target practice and he couldn’t trust them so he killed them before they could kill him,” his sister’s husband, Gaines Blevins, told the authorities, according to court documents. “He said he couldn’t trust anyone anymore (and) everyone was out to get him.”

After a search of the house, Mr. Routh’s cellphone, a box of 9-millimeter ammunition and paraphernalia for smoking marijuana were seized.

The funeral for Mr. Littlefield will be Friday at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Midlothian. A memorial service for Mr. Kyle will be held Monday at 1 p.m. at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, according to his Facebook page.

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Normal Chris Kyle Death: Photos seized from suspect Eddie Routh's phone may show ex-Navy SEAL before death

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:06 pm

By Crimesider Staff Topics Daily Blotter

(CBS/AP) LANCASTER, Texas - Authorities have seized a cellphone from the home of Iraq War veteran Eddie Routh, who is accused of killing former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and his friend. The phone may contain pictures of Routh with the victims before their deaths at a Texas shooting range, according to police documents released Thursday.

The phone, a box of 9 mm ammunition, drug paraphernalia and a blue-jean jacket were seized from the 25-year-old Routh's home after he was arrested near his house in Lancaster, Texas, according to a police search warrant affidavit, inventory sheet and other documents.

Routh allegedly confessed to shooting Kyle, author of the best-selling book "American Sniper," and Chad Littlefield on Saturday afternoon at Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose. Police believe he used the phone after the shooting to call his sister before driving Kyle's truck to her house. Routh told his sister and brother-in-law that the men "were out shooting target practice and he couldn't trust them so he killed them before they could kill him," according to the affidavit.

A public memorial service for the 38-year-old Kyle, reputed to be the deadliest sniper in American military history, is scheduled for Monday at Cowboys Stadium near Dallas. A funeral service for the 35-year-old Littlefield was set for Friday in Midlothian.

Routh is charged with one count of capital murder and two counts of murder. He remains jailed in Erath County on a $3 million bond.

Routh's attorney, R. Shay Isham, has said he will ask for a court-appointed psychiatrist to determine if Routh is competent to stand trial. His other court-appointed attorney, J. Warren St. John, said Routh was released from the Dallas Veterans Affairs hospital against his family's wishes just two days before the shootings.

In September, Routh was transported to a psychiatric hospital after he threatened to kill himself and his family, and he later told officers that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, Lancaster police records show.

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Normal Remembering The Chris Kyle I Met

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:20 pm

February 8, 2013 5:02 PM
Reporting Doug Dunbar

Absolutely shocked.

That was my reaction when someone from our news desk called me on Saturday evening, Feb 2. He told me that Chris Kyle had been murdered. My brain had to first, rationalize, how this man could avoid death threats for years from Iraqi insurgents, survive being shot twice while deployed, avoided dying a few times when he was too close to an IED that went off.

Only to make a decision to come home, for his wife and children, and be taken in an act that he probably never saw coming.

The days, weeks and months ahead, will bring much attention to PTSD, to whether or not Kyle and Chad Littlefield, the other man murdered, should have even taken the suspect to a range.

But for me, my thoughts since I received the phone call, and through all our coverage, have been for his wife Taya, and their two kids.

Last year, when Kyle’s book “American Sniper” came out, I was one of many who interviewed him. But when we set up the interview, I asked if his wife would come as well. I got the feeling I may have been the first to ask, but they agreed. There was a portion of the book that intrigued me more than his number of kills, and Chris’ wife Taya, played a pivotal role. I asked him all the obvious questions, which we all saw in interview after interview, but the story we did on CBS 11 really honed in on the decision he made in 2009, to walk away from everything he knew, as a professional, as a man living his dream in terms of a job.

I won’t soon forget sitting at the end of a gun range, on a stack of railroad ties, with Chris and Taya, and a conversation with the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, and it all came down to love. Taya had been essentially a single mom, for the last three years of Chris’ deployment. And she had given him an ultimatum in 2009 right at their kitchen table, on his R&R leave, her and the kids come first, or stay in the military and we’re gone. To me, that moment was still a bit raw for them to talk about.

But they wanted to, and did. Chris Kyle was to me, a man who lived and breathed what he did in the military. In many ways it defined him. He also told me as much, saying that if for some reason, his wife would change her mind and give him the ok, he said he’d be back In the sniper’s perch in a heartbeat. But at the same time, he spoke openly about the children he really did not know, up until his decision to discharge from his Naval career. He was home just 6 months from 2006-2009. This was a man living in two worlds, so completely apart. But when Taya gave him the ultimatum, just as sure as he would be with a target in his sights, he did not hesitate on the trigger. His family had to come first. In this moment, for this family, that was probably the most rewarding shot Chris Kyle ever took. That was something that made me respect the man even more.

Since he discharged honorably in 2009, he has been home, he’s been a father, and he’s been a husband. As short as his time now was, it was time they as a family, may have never had. An unselfish act, for someone who had all the reason in the world to be selfish.

God bless Chris Kyle, Chad Littlefield, their families, and all who are hurting.

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Normal Thousands attend memorial service for slain Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle at Cowboys Stadium

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:27 pm

By Jeff Mosier
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7:32 am on February 11, 2013
From Angela Brown with the Associated Press:

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Slain ex-Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was a devoted husband, father and friend who will never be forgotten, his widow told mourners at his memorial service Monday.

Taya Kyle said she was broken but that the family will “put one foot in front of the other” to get through their grief. She told her two children that they will remember Chris Kyle’s silly side, Texas twang and prayers they prayed together.

“Chris, there isn’t enough time to tell you everything you mean to me and everything you taught me,” she said through tears.

Nearly 7,000 people, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, attended the service at Cowboys Stadium. Dozens of military personnel and others were seated in front of the podium near the star at midfield, where Kyle’s flag-draped coffin was placed at the beginning of the service.

After Taya Kyle’s eulogy, country singer Randy Travis sang “Whisper My Name,” which he said Taya Kyle had told him was a meaningful song for the couple, and “Amazing Grace.” At the conclusion of the two-hour service, bagpipers played as military personnel carried out Kyle’s coffin, and many in the crowd saluted.

His friends and fellow service members told mourners that Kyle was more than an excellent sniper feared by U.S. enemies — he was a dedicated family man known for his sense of humor, compassion, selflessness and generosity.

Some who served with him said that Kyle was a man, myth and legend because he would do anything for his fellow SEALs. Some of his childhood friends recalled his mischievous side, and one said he and Kyle played with BB guns as kids — and Kyle “wasn’t a good shot back then.”

Before and during the service, pictures of Kyle with his family and SEALs were shown on a large screen in the stadium. The back page of the memorial service program included copies of handwritten notes from Kyle’s young kids: “I will miss your heart. I will love you even if you died” from his daughter, and “I miss you a lot. One of the best things that has happened to me is you” from his son. The children signed them “Baby Girl” and “Bubba.”

Kyle completed four tours of duty in Iraq and wrote the best-selling book “American Sniper.”

Iraq War veteran Eddie Ray Routh, 25, has been charged in the Feb. 2 killings of Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a North Texas gun range. Routh is being held in Erath County on $3 million bond.

Kyle’s funeral service is scheduled for Tuesday. He will be buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin after a 200-mile funeral procession.

Many said before Monday’s service that they didn’t know the 38-year-old Kyle. Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Phillips said he came from his Fort Worth home to honor “a brother in arms.”

Esperanza Meza, who is in the Texas State Guard, said: “I’m here to pay my respects to him, and also for all of those who have fallen while serving this country.”

The director of the nonprofit that Kyle set up to give in-home fitness equipment to physically and emotionally wounded veterans has said that Kyle and Littlefield apparently had been helping Routh work through post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kyle, Littlefield and Routh were all together when they arrived at the shooting range at Rough Creek Lodge, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth, authorities say. Routh later fled the range in Kyle’s truck and went to his sister’s home.

According to a search warrant, Routh told his sister and brother-in-law that the men “were out shooting target practice and he couldn’t trust them so he killed them before they could kill him.” Routh’s sister called the police, describing her brother as “psychotic.” Routh was arrested after a short police chase.

Routh’s brother-in-law told authorities that Routh had recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

One of Routh’s attorneys, J. Warren St. John, said his client had been released from the Dallas Veterans Affairs hospital against his family’s wishes just two days before the shootings.

Littlefield’s funeral was held Friday in Midlothian. After the funeral, Littlefield’s relatives said the outing with Routh was intended to be therapeutic.

Update at 2:50 p.m.:

The memorial service ended with Kyle’s casket being walked out of the stadium accompanied by a lone trumpet playing taps.

Tweets by @jeffmosier
Update at 12:35 p.m.: Lot 10 at Cowboys Stadium is filling up quickly here for the memorial service.

A slide show of photos from Kyle’s life is running on the huge video board inside the stadium. There are photos of him posing with horses and sniper rifles; wearing combat fatigues and a Cowboys jersey; standing in what’s presumably the Iraqi desert and in the snow during a childhood field trip.

Thousands line up outside Cowboys Stadium for the Chris Kyle memorial service. (Vernon Bryant / Staff Photographer)

Update at 10:31 a.m.: Among those expected to attend today’s service is former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who posted the following to her Facebook page this morning:

Todd and I are in Dallas today to attend Chris Kyle’s memorial and funeral service. I find it sad to see that flags aren’t flying at half staff for this American hero. We’re surrounded today by American patriots here in Texas – by Chris’ fellow veterans and active duty warriors. In honor of them, I hope our commander in chief pays his respects in some gesture of condolence for their comrade in arms who sacrificed so much to keep him and all of us safe.

We may never know to what extent Chris kept us free or how many lives he saved by his brave actions in the line of fire. But his fellow warriors know how important he was. My son Track couldn’t meet Chris when Todd and I first met him because Track was deployed to Iraq. Then when we got to know Chris even better, our son was deployed in Afghanistan. We’ve met a lot of people in recent years, and Track has been privileged to meet them as well. But he said about Chris, “Mom, he’s the ONE person in the entire world I would be star-struck to meet. He’s it.”

God bless this great warrior. Let us keep his wife and children in our prayers, and may we never forget him or his sacrifice.

Update at 10:15 a.m. by Jeff Mosier: Today, Cowboys Stadium is hosting what’s likely a unique event for the team: a public memorial service.

I’m certain nothing like this memorial service for former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle has happened at Cowboys Stadium. When I asked team spokesman Brett Daniels about whether there was ever a public memorial service at Texas Stadium, the only thing he could recall was a memorial for a member of the doomed Von Erich wrestling clan. The only reference I could find though was the annual David Von Erich Memorial: A Parade of Champions, which started in 1984. That was a memorial wrestling tournament rather than memorial service.

The only other service I could find there was the public memorial for Wilford “Crazy Ray” Jones, the famed Cowboys mascot. After his 2007 death, more than 500 people attended his service at the Stadium Club at Texas Stadium. Unlike that service, the one today for Kyle is expected to attract thousands and will actually be held in the full stadium.

When legendary football coach Tom Landry died in 2000, a Dallas Morning News story reported that team owner Jerry Jones told the Landry family that they could use Texas Stadium for a public memorial service. The family instead held that at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in downtown Dallas.

Original post

From the Associated Press:

ARLINGTON — Thousands are expected to attend a public memorial service Monday for former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, who was killed at a Texas shooting range allegedly by a young veteran he was trying to help.

Mourners will gather at Cowboys Stadium to pay tribute to the 38-year-old who was reputed to be the deadliest sniper in American military history. Details about the service were released Friday, including the fact that no cameras, bags, purses or substantial handheld items will be allowed in the stadium. The family has asked that those who attend refrain from taking photos.

Kyle left the Navy in 2009 after four tours of duty in Iraq and wrote the best-selling book “American Sniper.”

25-year-old Iraq War veteran Eddie Ray Routh has been charged with killing Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a gun range Feb. 2.

Kyle will be buried Tuesday at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin after a 200-mile funeral procession starting in the Dallas area Tuesday morning.

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Normal Decorated Sniper Chris Kyle Buried at Texas State Cemetery

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:55 pm

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Hundreds of people turned out Tuesday in the rain along U.S. Highway 287 between Midlothian and Waxahachie -- and elsewhere along Interstate 35E -- to pay their respects to Chris Kyle on his journey to Austin, where the former Navy SEAL sniper was buried.

12 February 2013
AUSTIN — Surrounded by the graves of heroes, soldiers and legends, the body of decorated military sniper Chris Kyle was laid to rest Tuesday in the Texas State Cemetery.

The 38-year-old known as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history was honored with bagpipes, a funeral salute and taps at a private ceremony in the sunshine near a small waterfall on the cemetery grounds.

With a giant Texas flag at half-staff overhead, Texas first lady Anita Perry presented Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, the American flag from his casket.

The services, attended by about 150 mourners, took place after a 180-mile funeral procession down Interstate 35 from Kyle’s hometown of Midlothian.

“For me, it’s a way of saying thank you to a true hero,” said Chris Dion, an Air Force active duty dog trainer at Lackland AFB who rode into town from San Antonio with about 100 Patriot Guard Riders, motorcyclists who volunteer to escort military funerals.

Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, were shot and killed Feb. 2 at a gun range southwest of Glen Rose in Erath County. Eddie Ray Routh, 25, has been charged with two counts of capital murder.

Remembered by his family as a softhearted father and husband, by his friends as “the legend” and by his wartime enemies in Iraq as the Devil of Ramadi, Kyle was widely known for his book, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.

He was buried in a section of the cemetery known as Statesman’s Meadow, at the center of 21 acres of gently rolling hills, waterfalls and a stream. He was laid to rest near the grave of former University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal and close to the 9/11 monument.

Mourners waved flags from overpasses up and down the interstate as the procession, escorted by an estimated 200 Patriot Guard Riders, began from Midlothian in the rain at 8:45 a.m. and arrived to sunshine in Austin three hours later.

The hourlong burial service included the tradition of Navy SEALS “pinning” the casket with Trident pins before it was lowered into the ground.

Leather-clad Patriot Guard Riders, many of them with military backgrounds, ringed the cemetery in a flag line, standing frozen in silent tribute. Mourners shook their hands, hugged and thanked them as they left the cemetery.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst attended the service, but Gov. Rick Perry was out of state.

Officials said Kyle’s brother requested permission from an overseeing committee for Kyle to be buried in the cemetery that is the final resting place for Texas politicians, honored members of the military and other public figures.

A two-hour memorial service on Monday drew 7,000 to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington


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Normal 'America's deadliest sniper' Chris Kyle laid to rest after 200-mile funeral procession lined with mourners Hundreds braved the cold rain to pay their respects along the 200-mile procession in Texas

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:00 pm

Stunning pics here. So sad!

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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:06 pm

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Normal Routh Family Releases First Public Statement On Kyle-Littlefield Shooting

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:48 pm

March 1, 2013

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Eddie Ray Routh and his mother, Jodi
(Photo courtesy of the Routh family)


Family of Eddie Ray Routh, who is accused of killing Navy SEAL sniper, Chris Kyle, and friend, Chad Littlefield, released a statement through Routh’s attorney extending their thoughts and prayers.

Routh, 25, has been charged with capital murder for killing Kyle and Littlefield on Feb. 2 at Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose, Texas. He allegedly shot them multiple times with a semi-automatic weapon while out on a shooting range and then stole Kyle’s truck. Jodi, Routh’s mother, reached out in the past for Kyle’s assistance to help her son, who is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The family released their statement through J. Warren St. John of Fort Worth, one of Routh’s court-appointed attorneys. The statement was the very first time the family had publicly spoken since the shooting occurred earlier this month.

“Raymond and I want to express our deepest condolences to the Kyle and Littlefield families. We are incredibly heartbroken for your loss.
We wish we could thank Chris Kyle for his genuine interest in helping our son overcome his battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
We want others with PTSD to know their struggle is recognized and we hope this tragedy will somehow help in getting greater care for and assistance to those in need.
No words can truly express the sorrow we feel for the Kyles and Littlefields, their extended family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you all. – The Routh Family”


Kyle and Littlefield, both of whom were veterans and residents of Midlothian, Texas, worked with other veterans to help them cope with PTSD and ease back into the civilian lifestyle.

Kyle was a Navy SEAL sniper who was recognized as the most lethal sniper in U.S. Military history with 160 confirmed kills and as a #1 New York Times best-selling author with his autobiography, American Sniper.

Routh is currently in the Erath County Jail awaiting trial under solitary confinement and suicide watch.

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Everything about this story is sadly tragic. I feel sorry for the loss of the victims, their families and the accused shooter and his family. IMO our Government should do more to help soldiers suffering from PTSD. They risk their lives to protect and serve our Country and we owe them... HEALING!

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Normal Taya Kyle, Widow of 'American Sniper' Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, Speaks At NRA Convention

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:00 pm

May 05, 2013

The widow of a Navy SEAL gunned down at a rifle range by a Marine reservist in February says her husband’s death – and other recent gun-related tragedies – is no excuse to curtail the right to bear arms.

Speaking at the National Rifle Association’s convention in Houston, Texas, Taya Kyle reportedly told a packed auditorium of gun enthusiasts to continue their defense of the Second Amendment in the face of those who would legislatively curtail it.

“I challenge anyone to tell me there isn’t evil in this world,” Kyle said, according to The Los Angeles Times.

“From the days of Cain and Abel, we know all too well there will always be evil, but that evil shouldn’t take away our freedoms. In fact, the only way to take away evil is by taking advantage of those freedoms. America needs people like you who are willing to stand up and fight.”

Kyle is the widow of Chris Kyle, the author of "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History."

The book recounts Chris Kyle’s experiences during four tours in Iraq, where he reportedly said he killed at least 160 insurgents.

Kyle, 38, and friend Chad Littlefield, 35, were shot to death by a fellow Iraq veteran – 25-year-old Eddie Ray Routh -- on Feb. 2, according to The Times. The duo had squired Routh to a gun range after Routh had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Routh turned his weapon on them.

“Thank you for understanding the difference between the use of guns in terrorizing innocent people in our country and abroad and the use of guns in fighting an evil that will not be reasoned with,” Taya Kyle, 38, reportedly said at the NRA’s convention.

Wearing her late husband’s dogtags, Taya Kyle added that Chris Kyle, with whom she has two children, was at work at the time of his death on a book called “American Gun.” The tome, which she has finished in his honor and will publish next month, tells the story of 10 historic guns and the people who used them, according to The Times.


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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by raine1953 on Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:12 pm

I agree with your comment above Nite. This is truely tragic, there are no winners in this one.
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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:27 pm

I second this. PTSD in soldiers is nothing to take for granted. There Really ARE no winners here..it's horrifically sad..all around.

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Normal Eddie Ray Routh Arraigned On Capital Murder Charges In Deaths Of Ex-SEAL Kyle And His Friend

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:54 pm

August 20, 2013

The North Texas man accused of killing former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and another man has been arraigned on two counts of capital murder.

Eddie Ray Routh made a brief court appearance Tuesday in Erath County. The 25-year-old Routh is an Iraqi War veteran charged with killing Kyle and Chad Littlefield in February at a gun range. After the shooting, Routh fled in Kyle's pickup. He was captured a few hours later at his sister's home in Lancaster.

Routh was indicted in July. His trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 21 and he remains jailed in lieu of $3 million bail.

Kyle is considered to be the deadliest sniper in American history. His account of life during and after war, "American Sniper," was a best-seller.

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Normal 'American Sniper' Murder Trial Puts Focus On Small Town Of Stephenville, Texas

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:28 pm

February 3, 2015

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — The small Erath County town of Stephenville is bracing for the trial of the man accused of murdering decorated Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield.

Defendant Eddie Ray Routh's lawyers want the trial moved out of Stephenville because of publicity — especially with the buzz surrounding "American Sniper," the blockbuster film depicting Kyle's life in the military. Kyle wrote about his experiences in a best-selling book, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, which became the basis of the movie.

District Judge Jason Cashon has not yet ruled on the motion to move the trial. He hopes to seat a jury by next week with trial scheduled to begin Feb. 11.

Media from across the nation are expected to cover the trial, and some international outlets may also be on hand in the city of 18,000 located 64 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

On Monday, Judge Cashon issued guidelines that could limit media coverage. One video camera will be allowed to shoot the proceedings through a window, but — at this point — no audio recording will be allowed. He told staff Monday he may reconsider permitting microphones to accommodate the number of expected reporters.

There will also be no phones or computers allowed inside the courtroom, which is in a small annex on the courthouse square.

Security will be tight. Some areas around the courthouse will be sealed off. Court officials say local, state and federal officers will provide security.

On Friday, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott declared Monday "Chris Kyle Day" in Texas to honor the late U.S. serviceman.

Abbott made the announcement Friday while speaking to a Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention in Austin. Hundreds of veterans in a hotel ballroom greeted the news with a standing ovation.

Kyle and Littlefield were shot and killed at the Rough Creek Lodge and Resort near Stephenville on Feb. 2, 2013. Kyle and Littlefield had taken Routh to the shooting range for practice.

Routh had been taken to a mental hospital twice in the five months before the incident and was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kyle did four tours in Iraq and is considered to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history.


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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:50 am

Is the movie based on his life?? Cannot bring myself to go see it even though I've heard it's very good and has been nominated for everything..

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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:23 pm

I haven't seen the movie either. I think it's the story of his Military service and family life. It certainly has a lot of controversy surrounding it.

It's tragic that he came home and lost his life while trying to help others scarred by war.
Would hate to be on this jury.

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Normal Father Raymond Routh Speaks Out About His Son

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:12 pm

Wednesday, Feb 4th 2015

Raymond Routh is under no illusion which version of his son Eddie Ray holds most prominence in the public conscience. It isn't the one displayed in the front room of his north Texas home.

On 2 February 2013 Eddie Ray Routh, 26, shot dead Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, 38, and Kyle's friend, father-of-one, Chad Littlefield, 35, at a shooting range near Chalk Mountain, Texas.
The SEAL with 160 confirmed kills and his friend were trying to help PTSD sufferer Routh assimilate to civilian life.

Now, shortly before the full release of 'American Sniper,' a movie already tipped for Oscars, Eddie Ray's father has broken his silence.

In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com Mr Routh, 55, has told of the layers of guilt and grief that torment him and revealed that they have torn apart his marriage of 33 years.
He has shared his anguish for the families of Kyle and Littlefield; his conviction that their deaths could have been prevented had his son received adequate psychiatric from the Department of Veterans Affairs and his fear that the release of 'American Sniper' just three weeks before Eddie Ray stands trial will be his son's 'downfall' and ensure that justice will not be served.

He said: 'I am so sorry for the Kyles and the Littlefields. We wrote them letters of apology after it happened but you can't talk to them because there's anger, there's hurt. They want justice. How do I explain I want justice for my son too?'

Because, according to Mr Routh there were no villains on the shooting range that day - only victims.

He said: 'It ain't just their loss. We all lost. We lost three people that day.
'Whatever happens I'm pretty sure I've lost my son forever.'

There is a bleak inevitability in Mr Routh's assertion. Although prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty the only two outcomes are life without parole or life in a psychiatric ward.
Mr Routh knows that, if he had the choice, his son would choose the death penalty. He has told his father as much.

He said: 'When you've grown up like Eddie - in the woods, hunting and fishing, always being outside you don't want to be behind bars, you can't be.

'We don't talk about the trial; we don't talk about much like that. But I know he'd rather take the death penalty than sit behind those bars forever. He has said that.'

For his father's part, Mr Routh clings to the hope that his son's sentence might somehow be a salvation of sorts.

He explained, 'I'm hoping for the best. I'm hoping to get him medical help. That's my main concern.'

Eddie Ray's decision to enlist was made the day terrorist planes flew into the Twin Towers in New York.

His father recalled, 'He came to me that day and said: 'I want to be a US Marine will you sign the papers for me?'

He was 16. His father signed him up for Junior Marines and told him if he wanted to progress to the real deal he'd have to graduate High School - a far from certain prospect at the time.
Mr Routh said: 'He just didn't want to do his work and he had girls on his mind,' he said.
But with his military ambition came a newfound focus. Seven days after he graduated in 2006 he was in boot camp in San Diego.

Mr Routh treasures the pictures of the day he, his wife and Eddie Ray's sister, Laura, flew to San Diego to watch him pass out as a private the following summer.

In September 2007 he deployed to Iraq where he served as an armorer fixing weapons as well as guarding prisoners in Balad Air Base, just north of Baghdad.

An American flag, neatly folded and mounted in a wooden frame, hangs on the wall of Mr Routh's home.
Pointing to it he said: 'Ed flew that in Iraq on my wife's birthday and mine - I'm 31 October she's 30th October. So he flew that for us then he sent it home.'

Eddie's tour lasted two years. Then, at the beginning of 2010, he was dispatched along with thousands of other Marines to Haiti to help in the humanitarian efforts that followed the devastating earthquake that hit on 12 January.

Mr Routh said: 'It wasn't the same Ed who came back from that. He was different.
'He wasn't prepared for what he was doing out there - fishing hundreds of bodies - men, women, children - out of the ocean, piling them up and throwing them into mass graves.

'It was overwhelming. My son asked me "Why did they do this?" I told him it was to help stop disease.

'He had PTSD before he was off the ship. But 24 hours after he got back he was back at home. Just dumped. Just sitting on the porch.

'He just wouldn't talk, couldn't talk. Sometimes he would look okay then you could see he was back in the zone, in a sort of daze, like a deer in the headlights. He was back seeing whatever he had seen.'

Honorably discharged after reaching the rank of corporal, he returned home to Texas. But Eddie struggled to find and hold down jobs and his behavior became increasingly erratic.
Mr Routh said: 'He would be fine for a couple of weeks then he would just lose it.'

On one occasion, Mr Routh said, Eddie Ray and his mother were sitting on the back porch when the 'pop-pop-pop' of a nail gun from a neighbor fixing his roof saw Eddie Ray throw himself to the ground, as if under enemy fire in one of the mortar attacks he had experienced in Iraq.

According to Mr Routh he and his wife sought medical help from Dallas VA and Eddie was put on a plethora of medications - up to 11 at one point Mr Routh said.

'But they would give him drugs then say come back in a couple of weeks. They weren't seeing him, living with him, monitoring him. They didn't know what was going on.'

The official diagnosis of PTSD didn't come until after a troubling episode that saw Eddie Ray hospitalized for three weeks in Dallas VA.

Mr Routh recalled, 'We were down at the lake. We'd been going down there since he was nine years old, hunting and fishing. We would go there ever weekend if we could get away with it.

'It was all good but I don't know, something triggered him and he was telling me he was Dracula, that he was a vampire and wanted to suck people's blood.

'He was talking just as calm as you and me talking now but he was gone, in his eyes he was gone. I had a .357 pistol and I pulled it away from him three times. He kept going for it and saying he would hurt himself.

'The third time I emptied all the bullets and threw them in the lake.'

Mr Routh took Eddie Ray to hospital and after a two-hour wait his son was admitted.

Mr Routh recalled, 'He asked me, 'Why aren't you scared of me? I'm a Marine?'
'I told him, 'I'm not scared of you because you're my son.'

But he was scared for him and, he said, scared he said for the absence of any support or consistent psychiatric care.

He claimed that on one occasion a doctor simply shut the door on him as he pressed for counseling for his son.

In the recent scandals that plagued the VA, the Dallas VA was singled out for particular criticism. According to the VA Inspector General, the paucity of care 'put lives at risk.'
The week after Eddie Ray shot dead Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield a letter from Dallas VA arrived at the Routh household informing Eddie that, two years after his diagnosis with crippling PTSD, the VA were finally recognizing his disability status. His first benefit check arrived a day later.

Mr Routh points to an official envelope sitting amid the clutter on the coffee table in the livingroom of the home in which he lives alone save for a terrier - a dog named 'Dog.'
He said: 'That's a check for him there. If he had had that the first year he could have paid for his own doctor. He could have got help.'

Instead, his father reflected, both he and wife Jodi, 57, spent the two years after Eddie Ray's honorable discharge trying to help their son cope with the PTSD, which, according to Mr Routh, was becoming more and more pronounced, and troubling.

Ultimately it was their efforts to help him that led directly to Chris Kyle.

Kyle himself had struggled to adapt to civilian life. In his autobiography he wrote of how he resented his wife, Taya, for giving him an ultimatum to leave the Forces or lose her and his family.

He began 'pounding back beers,' he became depressed. He was, he wrote, 'going downhill and gathering speed'. As a sniper he had the most kills in American military history. As a civilian who was he?

One way he sought to re-create a role for himself was in helping other veterans facing the same issues. He co-ran FITCO Cares, mentoring veterans, often through physical pursuits like hunts or trips or target training.

Kyle was local and he was well known. Jodi worked on the special-ed program at the Midlothian, Texas school which Kyle's children attended.

On 25 January 2013 she plucked up the courage to approach him in the school parking lot and tell him about her son Eddie Ray.

Mr Routh recalled, 'I was trying to get him into the Amarillo VA at the time. They have a good reputation but we were getting nowhere.

'My wife asked Chris Kyle that morning and asked him to help.

'Chris said he had some work to do right then but he would think about it and he would do what he could.

'A week later he called and all that went down.'

Sighing Mr Routh admitted, 'She has blamed herself. She's asked herself was it her fault? All she did was ask but she can't let that go, that question.'

Pausing he added, 'I ask myself, did I let my son down? Did I fail my son?'

Ultimately they could not reconcile their guilt and grief with themselves or each other.

Thirty-three years after marrying the woman with whom he fell in love when he saw her across the street Mr Routh and Jodi are in the midst of divorce.

Eddie Ray is currently in jail in Erath County where the shootings took place. He is not in a psychiatric facility. He speaks to his father two or three times a week.

They talk about hunting and fishing. They don't talk about the past. They don't talk about the future. They are locked in a permanent present.

For Mr Routh just hearing his son's voice brings some relief from what he described as a 'Groundhog day' existence of anger, guilt, regret and grief.

But he said: 'Every day I wake up, I make my coffee and I go to the window and I pray for some relief from this.

'If my son would have got killed in Iraq I could have had a closure. But we're living this day after day after day.'

Eddie Ray has been baptized in jail and, according to his father finds some solace in religion.
He said: 'I had a real hate for God for a while but I know it ain't God, it's the circumstances we're in.

'But how do you let it go and move forward? It don't ever go away.

'How can you send our people overseas to fight for us and see things nobody is ready to see and then not look after them when they get back?

'My son did a tragic thing. But there's something wrong with him.

'I don't know what the trial will bring. We can't know. But after it's done I don't want any other parent to be going through what we are. Does it have to take at a tragedy, a killing or a suicide for the VA to do something?'

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Normal In A Pool Of 800 Plus Screening For Jurors In Chris Kyle Murder Case Begins 2/5/15

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:56 pm

February 05, 2015

DALLAS –  With a trial set to begin next week for the man accused in the fatal shootings of famed Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and a friend of Kyle's, court officials in Texas are set to begin the process of screening potential jurors.

Candidates are to begin reporting Thursday to district court in the small town of Stephenville, about 80 miles southwest of Fort Worth. They'll be deciding the case of former Marine Eddie Ray Routh, 27, who's charged with capital murder in the killings two years ago at a gun range outside of Stephenville.

Here are some details about how the process to select the jury will work:

THE TIMELINE
About 500 people are expected to report to court to get information on juror qualifications and potential exemptions on Thursday and Friday. Four sessions will be held over the course of the two days to accommodate all of the potential jurors. Erath County District Clerk Wanda Pringle said she does not yet know whether attorneys on those days will choose to give potential jurors a questionnaire containing questions specifically related the Routh case. Jury selection is set for Monday and Tuesday. Opening statements are expected Wednesday.

A LARGE POOL
Pringle says that instead of a typical jury pool of 175, about 800 were summoned. Of them, about 300 have been eliminated, including people who are exempt and others whose summons were mailed to the wrong address.

INTEREST IN THE TRIAL
The trial is expected to garner international attention. The court has already issued an extensive list of rules related to media coverage and police have issued information on road closures when the trial starts. The Oscar-nominated movie "American Sniper," based on Kyle's memoir of the same name starring Bradley Cooper, was recently released. Kyle served four tours in Iraq before retiring from the military in 2009.

THE DEFENDENT
Routh, who struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder after leaving the Marines in 2010, had served as a small arms technician in the Iraq war and was deployed to earthquake-ravaged Haiti on a relief mission. Kyle took Routh to the shooting range at a luxury resort in the rolling countryside outside of Stephenville after Routh's mother asked if Kyle could help her son. Routh's attorney has said he'll pursue an insanity defense.

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Normal Judge Tells Potential Jurors That Reading The Victim Chris Kyle's Book Or Seeing The Recently Released Movie Wouldn't Automatically Disqualify Them From Case

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:18 pm

2/5/15

Texas judge told potential jurors in the murder trial of the man accused of shooting "American Sniper" author and Navy Seal Chris Kyle that reading the victim's book or seeing the popular movie would not automatically disqualify them from the case.

The suspect, Eddie Ray Routh, 27, has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of capital murder in connection with the shootings of Kyle, 38, and his friend Chad Littlefield, 35, killed two years ago when the trio went to a firing range for target practice.

Routh appeared in court Thursday for the first day of jury selection looking nothing like the mug shot taken when he was arrested soon after the shootings. The former Marine had shaved his shaggy brown hair and appeared to have gained some weight. He wore glasses, a blue blazer and oxford shirt and appeared calm as he chatted with his attorneys in front of prospective jurors.

Courthouse security had been stepped up for the high-profile trial. Potential jurors had to leave cellphones and bags in their cars, pass through two metal detectors and police dogs. More than a dozen members of law enforcement stood in and outside the courtroom.

A bomb threat against the courthouse was called in to the local newspaper Jan. 26. The sheriff's office is still investigating, according to Chief Deputy Jason Upshaw, among first responders at the scene of the shooting Feb. 2, 2013.

State troopers temporarily closed a stretch of the main highway through town Thursday morning when sheriff’s deputies escorted Routh to court from the nearby county jail, where he has been held on $3-million bail, Upshaw said.

Kyle became legendary for his prowess as a sniper during his four tours in Iraq, stoked by the “American Sniper” autobiography published after his return. The book was turned into an Oscar-nominated movie directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper. The film is still in theaters, where it became a sleeper hit across the heartland, particularly in Texas.

Stephenville, about 100 miles southwest of Dallas, is a college town in largely rural Erath County, with a population of about 40,000. The first potential jurors called were mostly white, including some gun owners wearing camouflage hunting caps and jackets.

District Judge Jason Cashon excused and disqualified 21 people in the morning, including half a dozen who said they had already made up their mind about the defendant's guilt.


Chris Conway, 40, of Stephenville was dismissed after he told the judge he had already become convinced of Routh's guilt.
Conway, the band director at a local middle school, said he followed news of Kyle’s death and considered him a hero.
He knew that Routh’s attorneys plan to mount an insanity defense, potentially based on Routh’s service in Iraq and Haiti and subsequent treatment at VA facilities for what relatives described as post traumatic stress disorder.
“I didn’t buy it,” Conway said.


Vietnam veteran Joe McCartney of Stephenville told the judge he didn't think he could serve on the jury because he is being treated for PTSD.
McCartney, 63, a former Marine sniper, said he has been suicidal but received plenty of help from veteran's hospitals and had little sympathy for Routh.
"There's stuff out there he could have done other than what he done," McCartney said after he was excused by the judge.


Other people were released for reasons such as illness, work, childcare and illiteracy.

Lucas Burch, who teaches at an online university, was excused because he is scheduled to leave soon for a school trip to Costa Rica and Italy. Burch, 33, of Stephenville, had seen “American Sniper” and followed news of the case.

The district attorney is not seeking the death penalty, but Routh faces the possibility of life without parole.

“I don’t know if I would want to be on that type of a trial with a man’s life on the line,” Burch said.

Burch, who came to court carrying an earmarked copy of historian David McCullough’s “1776,” said Erath County has “a large number of educated people who care about their country.”

“I would hope they would be as fair as they can,” Burch said. “It’s something we all follow in the news.”

“Everyone has heard about the case,” said accountant Sherilyn Svien, 59, who walks with a cane and was excused Thursday for medical reasons.

So far, 800 potential jurors have been summoned, and those who were not released Thursday were asked to return Monday to be questioned by the lawyers involved, all of whom were in court Thursday.


Svien said she would have liked to have served on the jury deciding Routh’s fate.

“He certainly can get justice. Out of the 800 jurors, I’m sure they can find 12 who have not concluded what they would do,” Svien said as she left court. “This is not a hick town, despite what people may think. We try to do the right thing. This is a town of high moral character.”

Legal experts said one of the challenges in picking a jury will be screening out those so eager to participate that they try to conceal their biases.

Nathan Goldberg, 33, had hoped he could serve on the jury, but told the judge he had moved outside the county and was automatically disqualified.

Goldberg, a technology worker, is an Army veteran who crossed paths with Kyle in Iraq. He has also suffered from PTSD from his time in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was a forward observer, he said.

“Having an understanding of both sides, I thought I might have a good perspective,” on the case, Goldberg said. But the veteran said he spoke with others summoned Thursday who also had military experience.

Standing outside the courthouse, Goldberg remembered Kyle as the consummate soldier and “a hell of a shot.”

“But it was really his wanting to look out for the guys on the ground that made him a legend,” he said.

As he left, Goldberg said he hoped the trial would result in justice for both men.

“I would like to see that Eddie Ray gets the help that he needs,” he said.

As Judge Cashon dismissed prospective jurors Thursday, who would file out past a bank of television and still cameras, he reminded them that they will be returning Monday to be questioned again by lawyers involved in the case, a process called voir dire.

Once the trial starts Wednesday, relatives of the accused and the victims are expected to in court. The judge has issued a gag order barring those involved in the case from discussing it.

“There’s going to be a lot of publicity,” Cashon told the potential jurors before they left. “Stay away from it.”


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Normal Questions, Answers and Other Information

Post by NiteSpinR on Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:13 am

February 08, 2015

Q: Did Eddie Ray Routh and Chris Kyle know each other?
A: No. Mother Jodi Routh has told numerous news outlets that she ran into Kyle at the school where she serves as an aide. She had heard about Kyle's work with wounded veterans and asked if he might be willing to help her son, who was struggling with PTSD and alcohol abuse. Kyle and Littlefield went to Routh's home on Feb. 2, 2013, to take him to a shooting range, where the killings occurred. It appears to have been the first time they'd met.

Q: What is Routh's defense strategy?
A: Since Routh admitted the slayings to his sister and brother-in-law, and in an interview with the Texas Rangers, the trial will revolve around his state of mind at the time. Routh's attorneys have filed a notice of intent to pursue an insanity defense. Prosecutors have chosen not to seek the death penalty if Routh is convicted, but will ask that he be given life without the possibility of parole. Defense attorneys have expressed concern about whether Routh can receive a fair trial, since the proceeding, set to begin Feb. 11, will come as the Oscar-nominated movie "American Sniper," based on Kyle's memoir, is filling theaters nationwide and even in Erath County, Texas, where trial will be held.

Q: What is PTSD?
A: According to the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD is characterized by "clinically significant distress or impairment in the individual's social interactions, capacity to work or other important areas of functioning." Paula Schnurr, acting executive director of the National Center for PTSD, says the individual need not have experienced the trauma himself. "PTSD can also occur when people have witnessed a horrific event occurring to others or learning about some types of horrific events that may happen to a loved one, such as losing a loved one to murder or suicide," said Schnurr, whose agency is part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Symptoms include recurrent dreams or flashbacks, changes in mood, avoidance and hypervigilance. Anger and irritability are also in the profile, though not all people experience those symptoms, says Schnurr. "We know from research that individuals with PTSD have an increased likelihood of engaging in aggressive or violent behavior," she said. "There is a statistical association between PTSD and violence, both domestic violence and violence against others. But when I say violence I mean aggression or violence and that may include threats and not acts, so it's a broad category." An estimated 15 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have PTSD.

Q: How has the PTSD defense fared in the criminal courts?
A: The record has been decidedly mixed. The authors of a 2012 article in The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law concluded that success hinges largely on how well the expert testimony links the symptoms and crime. "Appellate courts have found criminal defenses based on PTSD to be viable and compelling when a clear and direct connection between the defendant's PTSD symptoms and the criminal incident was found by the expert," wrote the authors of "PTSD as a Criminal Defense: A Review of Case Law." ''The PTSD phenomena that appellate courts have found to be most relevant to criminal defenses include dissociations, hyperarousal symptoms, hypervigilance symptoms, and the overestimation of danger." Some jurisdictions have recognized PTSD "as a valid basis for insanity, unconsciousness, and self-defense," the authors found. However, Georgia recently executed Vietnam veteran Andrew Brannan in the 1998 murder of a deputy sheriff, despite arguments from his attorneys that he had PTSD and was 100 percent mentally disabled.

Q: Much has been written about "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle. But who was the other victim, Chad Littlefield?
A: Littlefield, 35, had a wife and young daughter. According to a June 2013 New Yorker Magazine story, the two men met on the sidelines of a youth soccer game and became friends. They lived in the same neighborhood, and hunted and worked out together. Although he had never been in the military himself, Littlefield - facilities and logistics manager with a lab in DeSoto, Texas - also volunteered his time to work with veterans. By the time of that fateful outing with Routh, he had accompanied Kyle "on similar trips dozens of times," according to an April 2013 article in D Magazine. Routh's trial is set to begin on what would have been Littlefield's 38th birthday.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Eddie Ray Routh had been talking crazy for a while. So when he showed up on his sister's doorstep one afternoon two Februarys ago and claimed to have shot two men, she didn't know what to think.

But when Laura Blevins saw the big black custom pickup truck in the driveway, not Eddie's Volkswagen Beetle, her stomach tightened. He asked if she was with him "in hell," then drove off into the fading light.
"I'm terrified for my life," she breathlessly told a 911 dispatcher. "I don't know if he's being honest with me."
It wasn't long before she got her answer.

Routh, a 27-year-old Iraq War veteran, is scheduled to stand trial Wednesday, charged with capital murder in the slayings of Chad Littlefield and former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, whose memoir "American Sniper" is now an Academy Award-nominated movie. The two men had taken the ex-Marine to a shooting range in an attempt to help him battle post-traumatic stress disorder and other personal demons besetting him.

Routh's attorneys are planning to argue that he was insane. Many expect PTSD from his Iraq tour and a relief mission to earthquake-stricken Haiti to be another narrative thread in that defense.

But with Kyle's personal story the subject of a blockbuster currently packing them in at cinemas near and far, Routh's defenders wonder whether he can get a fair trial.

Although it appears that Kyle and Routh hadn't met before that fatal day in February 2013, they had a lot in common.
Both had attended high school southwest of Dallas in the town of Midlothian, the self-proclaimed "Cement Capital of Texas." Each had played football for the Midlothian Panthers and been involved with the Future Farmers of America, though 14 years apart.
And, most importantly, both ended up in the military and went to war.

After a brief stint in college and a flirtation with rodeo bronc riding, the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Kyle joined the Navy and qualified for its elite special forces unit. As a sniper with SEAL Team 3, he would rack up, by his own count, more than 300 kills and earn two Silver Stars, the military's third-highest honor for valor.
The father of two left the Navy in 2009, following four tours in Iraq. Three years later, he published his best-selling memoir, "American Sniper."

Routh's path would be paved with far less glory.
By most accounts, he was a middling student and a bit of a troublemaker. Kc Bernard, a former security guard at Midlothian High, remembers Routh as a decent defensive lineman, but easy to anger.
"He had a chip on his shoulder," says Bernard, who recalls a heart-to-heart with Routh outside the school gym after the teen had had a falling out with his parents.
"I know for a fact that his home life wasn't great," says Bernard, who now teaches social studies in Dallas. "They did not get along."

But by senior year, Routh knew what he wanted to do with his life. Although a photo in the 2006 Midlothian High yearbook shows a buzz-cut Routh chatting with an Army recruiter, he had his heart set on the Marines.
"I want to be one of the few and the proud," he told the photographer.
Not long after graduation, Routh - also 6-2, but about 50 pounds lighter than Kyle - was off to boot camp in California. By September 2007, he was in the Middle East.

In a conversation with his parents shortly before deploying, he reportedly expressed concerns about having to use his weapon.
"He said, 'Dad, how are you going to feel about me if I have to kill somebody?'" his mother, Jodi Routh, told a writer from Men's Health magazine before a judge imposed a gag order in the case. "Our response was, of course, 'Eddie, this is a war. You kill them before they can kill you.'"

A few months later, his parents told the magazine, he called home and suggested that something bad had happened while he was out on patrol.
"How would you feel if I shot a kid?" they said he asked.

But family and friends say Routh was more disturbed by what he saw during a later deployment - in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
In January 2010, Routh was attached to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit as part of Operation Unified Response, sent to the island nation. They found a country in ruins, with about a quarter million dead - many of them stacked in rotting piles along the muddy roads.

Routh talked of being forbidden by an officer to give his rations to a starving boy - and of things much worse.

"He wasn't prepared for what he was doing out there," his father told London's Daily Mail for an article published last month. "Fishing hundreds of bodies - men, women, children - out of the ocean, piling them up and throwing them into mass graves."

Routh left the Marines as a corporal that summer and floated around - a brief stint with a military contractor, doing odd jobs for a real estate agent, cabinet-making, building storage units. He was diagnosed with PTSD the following summer, according to medical records viewed by Men's Health.

His drinking, which had begun in his teens, got worse.

In September 2012, Routh was transported to Green Oaks Hospital for psychiatric care after his mother told police he'd threatened to kill himself and family. Police had found him wandering - barefoot, shirtless and reeking of alcohol.

"Eddie stated he was hurting and that his family does not understand what he has been through," the police report said.

His parents and sister have told reporters that Eddie claimed to be a vampire or werewolf, and complained that a tapeworm was eating out his insides.

Routh would go back to Green Oaks at least one more time. On Jan. 30, 2013, his mother took him to the Veteran's Administration hospital.

Despite her pleas that he be admitted, doctors sent him home.

To the Iraqi insurgents who'd placed a bounty on his head, Chris Kyle was "al-Shaitan Ramadi" - the "devil of Ramadi." But to Jodi Routh, he was an angel.

In search of another mission after leaving the SEALs, Kyle helped create a program to help rehabilitate wounded and troubled veterans through exercise. Jodi Routh worked as an aide at the Kyle kids' school, and she asked if he would take her son on.

Kyle and Littlefield - a neighbor and hunting buddy who also volunteered his time with veterans - decided to take Routh shooting. It was Feb. 2, 2013.

In Kyle's black pickup, they drove to Rough Creek Lodge and Resort, which sits on 11,000 acres of rolling hills scattered with scraggly trees and prairie grasses. In addition to luxury accommodations, it has hunting areas and a 1,000-yard shooting range.

Around 5 p.m., a resort employee discovered the bodies. Kyle and Littlefield lay on the ground amid scattered weapons; each had been shot several times.

About 45 minutes later, Routh pulled up at his sister's Midlothian home in Kyle's truck.

Laura Blevins told police that Eddie "was out of his mind saying people were sucking his soul and that he could smell the pigs." He told her he'd "traded his soul" for the pickup.

He'd killed Kyle and Littlefield, Routh allegedly admitted to his sister and her husband, and later to Texas Rangers. Echoing the advice his parents had given him before he left for Iraq, Gaines Blevins says his brother-in-law told him he'd "killed them before they could kill him."

After leading police on a brief chase, Routh was arrested on Interstate 35 near Lancaster. In an interview with the Texas Rangers, Routh said he understood what he'd done and wanted to apologize to the men's families.

"It wasn't a want to," he said in a recording played in court. "It was a need to, to get out of that situation out there today or I was going to be the one out there to get my head shot off."

"You know what you did today is wrong, right?" the ranger asked.

"Yes, sir," Routh replied.

That evening, police blocked off the street and told Routh's neighbor Danny Elizondo to stay in his house.

The Eddie he knew was a normal guy who came to neighborhood barbecues and asked if Elizondo, who painted cars, would redo his VW "bug" in camouflage. Routh had complained of flashbacks, but Elizondo had never known him to be violent or delusional.

"Eddie would come to my house and sit out there and talk to me and tell me stuff," he says. "The bombing and stuff, the bodies on the side ... kids, out when they were going through patrols. Kids out there kind of hungry and stuff."

He figures something out at Rough Creek made him snap.

"I just have a feeling that Eddie went to that rifle range ... and he heard the shelling again, and something triggered him off," says Elizondo.

Many former Marines aren't buying it, some expressing their doubts in angry, profane online posts. And records obtained by The Associated Press suggest they're right to be skeptical.

Routh was a small-arms technician, also known as an armorer. Veterans say a support person like that would not have been out on patrol.

Raymond Routh was quoted as saying his son claimed to have helped guard prisoners at Balad Air Base. A 2013 New Yorker article said Routh had "witnessed several mortar attacks on the base; once, while he was on the phone with Raymond, sirens began blaring, and he said that he had to take cover."

But Marine records indicate that Routh was attached to Combat Logistics Battalion 8, based in Fallujah - more than an hour south of Balad. Haley Carter, who was a 2nd lieutenant with the unit during that tour and helped oversee the morning reports, said Routh's story makes no sense.

"I don't know why we would send an armorer to Balad ... when there are plenty of MPs who have the training to guard prisoners," Carter, who left the Marines as a captain in 2013, told the AP. "The whole thing seems funky to me."

The unit's command chronology, a detailed official account of the deployment obtained by AP, shows none of its Marines assigned to Balad during Routh's service. The portion of the chronology covering the first several months of that tour was not available, a Marine archivist said.

As for the Haiti mission, the 22nd MEU chronology shows that while Marines helped distribute food, water and medical aid, there is no mention of burials. It also appears from the narrative that the command element, to which Routh was attached, never left the assault ship USS Bataan.

The only document that mentioned Routh by name was a "debarkation roster" dated April 1, 2010 - the end date of his deployment.

"There's no information that we have at this time that can confirm or refute his claims of being in those particular locations and doing those particular tasks," said Capt. Stewart Coles, a spokesman for the II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

With area theaters showing the Oscar-nominated movie about Kyle's life - and alluding to his death, in a brief on-screen note and footage from a funeral motorcade - defense attorney J. Warren St. John has expressed concern that Routh can't get a fair trial in Erath County.

On a recent rainy afternoon, people lined up outside the Cinemark Cinema 6 in Stephenville for tickets to see "American Sniper," starring Bradley Cooper. That show and the next quickly sold out, and management has been adding an extra screen on weekends to meet demand.

Like others in the crowd, Elby Cato has received a jury summons. He says the movie won't affect his ability to be impartial.

"Can he get a fair trial here? You bet," said Cato, 48. "I think a lot of people have military kids here, and they understand what they're going through. ... He's going to jail, but I feel like he needs to have a lighter sentence because of it - and help."

Moviegoer Janet Huggins has given a lot of thought to PTSD, and whether a noncombat veteran like Routh has a right to use it as a defense. But she recognizes that it is "a terrible disease."

"They are all victims," said Huggins, 56, a collections manager, also called for jury duty. "Eddie's a victim. Chad Littlefield's a victim, and so is Chris. And then you've got the families. Everybody's going through their own hell."

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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by NiteSpinR on Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:09 am

Routh's claims of PTSD are starting to crumble around him before the trial even starts.

1) Routh claims while on patrol in the Middle East he was forced to take cover during bombings, saw dead bodies and starving children.

BUT~ Routh was a small-arms technician, also known as an armorer. Veterans say a support person like that would not have been out on patrol.

2) He further claims that he helped guard prisoners at Balad Air Base, where he witnessed and had to take cover from several mortar attacks while on duty.
BUT~ Records indicate that Routh was attached to Combat Logistics Battalion 8, based in Fallujah - more than an hour south of Balad.
The unit's command chronology, a detailed official account of the deployment obtained by AP, shows none of its Marines assigned to Balad during Routh's service.


3) Routh claims he was forced to recover and bury victims of earthquake-ravaged Haiti. A quarter million dead - many of them stacked in rotting piles along the muddy roads.
BUT~ The 22nd MEU chronology shows that while Marines helped distribute food, water and medical aid, there is no mention of burials. It also appears from the narrative that the command element, to which Routh was attached, never left the assault ship USS Bataan.


This is bothersome to me as it would appear that Routh may have been weaving a very elaborate PTSD story to his family and friends for the sole purpose of collecting VA Benefits.
At the time of the shootings the VA had yet to diagnose Routh, maybe he was upset about that. Maybe Kyle and his friend called him out on the discrepancies in his story and he lost his temper. Maybe he was jealous of Kyle's prestigious achievements...
We will never know what happened on the gun range that day, but the murders of Kyle and Littlefield may not have had anything to do with PTSD.
What that means is that when Routh took those 2 lives on the gun range he left many more victims who weren't there that day... the true sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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Normal Jury Seated ~ 10 Women 2 Men ~ Opening Statements Set For Wednesday 2/11/15

Post by NiteSpinR on Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:36 pm

February 9, 2015

A jury of 10 women and two men were seated Monday in the capital murder trial of Eddie Routh - one day ahead of schedule. Opening arguments, however, are still set to begin Wednesday morning.
The jury was selected about 5:30 p.m. Monday, and as of now, will not be sequestered. Two alternates - one woman and one man - were also chosen.

Judge Jason Cashon denied a second request by the defense for a change of venue.
"I have considered the evidence and pre-trial publicity has not affected the defendant's ability for a fair trial," Cashon said Monday.
Meanwhile security has been stepped up at the Donald R. Jones Justice Center.
Routh is accused of killing Chris Kyle, author of American Sniper and subject of the movie by the same name, and his friend Chad Littlefield on Feb. 2, 2013.
Stephenville Police Chief Jason King said 24/7 security surrounding the justice center began Saturday and will continue throughout the duration of the trial.
"We have a pretty extensive security plan that we have been working on for months," King said.
Along with a command center that monitors what's happening inside and outside the building, there are bomb-sniffing dogs and metal detectors leading inside the courtroom.
King said the added security is not affecting staffing at the police department.
"Our personnel is on overtime, but (the trial) is not affecting our staffing inside the city," King said.

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Normal The Trial Of Eddie Ray Routh Begins With The Plea "Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:41 pm

2/11/15

The trial of Eddie Ray Routh, the alleged murderer of real-life American Sniper Chris Kyle, began Wednesday in Stephenville, Texas.

After Routh's attorneys entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, the two sides faced off in opening statements over whether Routh, 27, understood what he was doing was wrong when he allegedly shot Kyle and Chad Littlefield to death on Feb. 2, 2013, at a shooting range in Texas.

In a courtroom packed with onlookers and journalists, Kyle's widow, Taya, who began testifying after the opening statements, sat with her eyes closed and hands folded as prosecutor Alan Nash argued that Routh's conduct before, during and after the shootings showed he knew what he was doing was wrong. Routh "had been smoking dope and drinking" that morning, Nash said, telling the 10-woman, 2-man jury that proving a defendant is not responsible for his action in an insanity plea is "a very narrow path."

He detailed the killings, saying Littlefield had been shot four times in the back, once in the hand, once in the face and once on top of his head. Kyle was shot five times, four in the back and once in the side of his head. Routh then stole Kyle's truck.

Defense attorney Tim Moore described Routh's history of psychiatric problems, saying the ex-Marine suffered from severe mental illness and was treated and released several times by Veterans Affairs hospitals. Doctors had deemed him likely to cause harm to himself or others, Moore added, saying: "When he took their lives, he was in the grip of psychosis so severe he didn't know what he was doing was wrong."

Moore (Routh's Attorney) also said that Kyle and Littlefield suspected Routh was dangerous. When they were driving to the gun range, Kyle texted Chad: "This dude is straight up nuts," according to Moore. Littlefield texted back: "He's right behind me. Watch my 6." (That's military jargon for "watch my back.")

Prosecutors have said they are not seeking the death penalty for Routh. While his attorneys have questioned whether Routh can receive a fair trial despite the popularity of the movie American Sniper, the defense's appeal to push back the trial was denied earlier this month.


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Normal Chris Kyle's Widow, Taya Kyle Emotionally Takes The Stand

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:47 pm

The widow of Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL depicted in the blockbuster film "American Sniper," testified Wednesday against the man charged with killing her husband.

Taya Kyle admitted to prosecutors that she was emotional and appeared to choke up when asked to name her deceased husband.

She talked about some of the difficulties Kyle had adjusting to life at home. She mentioned that he missed the brotherhood he experienced while serving in the military. She got emotional again when a prosecutor scrolled through old photos that showed Kyle hiding Easter Eggs and others in his uniform.

When the book, "American Sniper," came up, Taya said her husband had little interest in writing the project and put it off for years, but he knew someone else would write it if he did not.

Her testimony came after opening statements by Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash at the trial of Eddie Ray Routh. Nash said overwhelming evidence points to Routh as the killer of Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range in February 2013.

Nash described the 27-year-old Routh as "a troubled young man" and said a history of mental illness should not absolve him of being accountable for the deaths.

"The evidence will show that mental illnesses, even the ones that this defendant may or may not have, don't deprive people from being good citizens, to know right from wrong," Nash said.

The case has drawn intense interest, largely because of Kyle's memoir about being a sniper who served four tours in Iraq. The Oscar-nominated film based on the book has grossed nearly $300 million.

Defense attorney Tim Moore didn't dispute that Routh accompanied the men to the shooting range but said he was insane, spiraling out of control from a history of mental illness and thought he needed to kill the two or they would turn on him.

Routh's psychosis was so transparent that Kyle and Littlefield became alarmed, Moore said. He read to jurors texts that he said the two men exchanged while driving with Routh in Kyle's pickup to the shooting range.

"This dude is straight up nuts," Kyle texted to Littlefield.

"He's (sitting) right behind me, watch my six," Littlefield texted back, using a military reference for watching one's back.

Moore told jurors that Routh was suffering from severe mental strain that day. "He thought he had to take their lives or he was in danger," he said.

The intense attention on the case has also brought renewed focus to the mental struggles former military members face.

Routh was a small arms technician who served in Iraq and was deployed to earthquake-ravaged Haiti before leaving the Marines in 2010. Authorities say that after the February 2013 shooting, Routh drove to his sister's house in Kyle's truck, admitted to the killings and told his sister "people were sucking his soul."

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Normal Chris Kyle's Widow, Taya Kyle Emotionally Takes The Stand

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:52 pm

2/11/15

Taya Kyle told jurors that on Feb. 2, 2013, she and Chris started their day like they did most Saturdays. They went to their kids’ sporting events and chatted with some friends. Afterward, she said they took separate vehicles because Chris knew he had plans with a troubled veteran named Eddie Routh.

Kyle was again overcome with emotion when the prosecution asked her about the last time she saw her husband.
“We were at the house and we were trying to hurry and get where we were supposed to go,” she said, her eyes wet and voice shaky. “We said we love each other and he picked up and hugged his kids like he always did. And when I left he was still in the driveway trying to get more stuff in there.”

But Kyle also revealed that she talked to her husband on the phone later in the day and he sounded “irritated,” though the prosecution made sure she didn’t speculate as to why.

She said she later texted him, “I’m getting worried,” when she couldn’t get ahold of him. He never replied.

Kyle testified that she knew something was wrong when she started getting several calls and texts from various people, including people who served with Chris in the military. She was eventually told by a friend,  who is also a law enforcement officer, that her husband had been killed.

The defense started its cross-examination of Kyle by offering condolences to the widow for her tragic loss, then questioned her about her husband’s stance on gun safety.

When asked if Chris would have ever taken someone who appeared to have been drinking to a gun range, Kyle said her husband always used his best judgement. While he would never drink and shoot guns, it makes a difference if someone has one beer or is severely intoxicated, she said.

After some brief questioning about Chris Kyle’s behavior after he returned home from military service, the defense passed on the witness and she her testimony was concluded.


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Normal Police Dash Cam Video

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:22 pm

Published on Feb 12, 2015
STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Prosecutors on Thursday showed jurors never-before-seen police dash cam footage of the high-speech car chase that preceded the arrest of Eddie Ray Routh for his involvement in the deaths of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield on
Feb. 2, 2013.

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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:25 pm

2/12/15

Texas jurors on Thursday were shown video showing the former Marine who is accused of killing "American Sniper" Chris Kyle and his friend at a local gun range telling police that he had "taken a couple of souls" and had more to take.

Eddie Ray Routh, 27, is charged with capital murder in the killings of Kyle and Chris Littlefield. He made the comments to Lancaster police who were trying to get him to leave Kyle's pickup truck after a police chase hours after the murders.

"He told us he'd taken a couple of souls and he had more souls to take," Lancaster Police Lt. Michael Smith testified Thursday.

Routh has admitted to killing both men at the shooting range of Rough Creek Lodge and Resort, southwest of Dallas, on Feb. 2, 2013. His defense lawyers will argue that Routh is not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors intend to seek life in prison without parole rather than the death penalty.

In the police body camera footage recorded before Routh led Lancaster police on a 10-minute chase, Routh is heard saying, "Hell is walking on earth with us now." He is also heard saying, "I can feel people feeding on my soul, and that's not good," and asking, "Is the apocalypse upon us right now?"

A Texas Ranger testified Thursday that both Kyle and Littlefield were armed when they were shot, but never drew their weapons. A medical examiner testified that Kyle was shot six times and Littlefield was shot seven times.

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Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield


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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:41 pm

Eddie Ray Routh

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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:46 pm

I would never know that's the same guy. Guess the jail food has made him gain weight.

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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:50 pm

It's an eerie coincidence to me that Kyle and Littlefield were shot in the back after exchanging text messages on the way to the gun range about Routh being seated behind them and Littlefield's cryptic message to Kyle about watching his back.
Part of me wonders if Routh read Littlefield's text over his shoulder.

Learning that both men had handguns on them, that they never had the chance to draw tells me how fast the shootings took place.

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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:58 pm

Wrapitup wrote:I would never know that's the same guy. Guess the jail food has made him gain weight.

I agree Wrap. Plus it looks like he's been spending his time in jail lifting weights and working out.

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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:59 pm

Must be nice. grrrr grrrr grrrr grrrr grrrr

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Normal Sheriff’s Deputy Testifies He Heard Routh Say "I Shot Them Because They Wouldn't Talk To Me..."

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:59 pm

2/13/15

A former sheriff’s deputy testified Friday afternoon that he heard Eddie Ray Routh confess why he fatally shot former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and Kyle’s friend.

“I heard Mr. Routh say, ‘I shot them because they wouldn’t talk to me,’” testified Gene Cole, the former deputy. “I was just riding in the back seat of the truck and nobody would talk to me.
“They were just taking me to the range, so I shot them. I feel bad about it but they wouldn’t talk to me. I’m sure they’ve forgiven me.”


Cole said Routh made that statement as an inmate at the Erath County Jail on June 22, 2013, about four months after the slayings. Cole, who is now a Belton police officer, documented the quote in a report at the time.

After the bombshell from the former deputy, Judge Jason Cashon ended proceedings for the day. Testimony will resume Monday morning.

Earlier in the day, jurors heard from Routh’s uncle, who shed light on Routh’s behavior during two critical time periods: shortly before and right after the killings. Because Routh has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, jurors must consider whether he intentionally committed murder and knew it was wrong.

Routh stopped by his uncle’s Alvarado house on Feb. 2, 2013, after prosecutors say he fatally shot Kyle and Kyle’s friend, Chad Littlefield, at an Erath County gun range. Routh led his uncle outside to the driveway where a black Ford pickup sat. It was Kyle’s.

“Check out my truck,” the uncle, James Watson, quoted Routh as saying. “I’m driving a dead man’s truck.”
The comment didn’t strike Watson as unusual, Watson testified Friday afternoon.

Routh tended to make “bizarre comments like that,” Watson said, particularly since he had returned from Iraq and Haiti as a Marine. He’d grown depressed after having trouble getting a job and moving out of his parents’ house. “I thought he was talking about himself,” Watson said of the “dead man” reference.

“He felt like somebody was out to get him,” Watson continued. “He’d said that before, that the government was after him.”

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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by NiteSpinR on Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:02 am



Prosecutors Alan Nash and Jane Starnes don’t dispute that Routh was a troubled veteran, but they maintain that he knew his actions were wrong when he opened fire, shooting Kyle six times with a .45-caliber weapon and Littlefield seven times with a 9 mm handgun at Rough Creek Lodge and Resort, southwest of Glen Rose. After the slayings, Routh stole a 9 mm handgun engraved with a Navy anchor and fled in Kyle’s black pickup.

Routh was arrested hours later after leading Lancaster police on a 6-mile chase that ended when Kyle’s pickup died on Interstate 35E, near Wheatland Road in south Dallas. Two weapons — the 9 mm handgun and a rifle found between the passenger and driver’s seats — were recovered from the stolen truck.

“He had lost his desire for life,” said his uncle James Watson, who was subpoenaed by the prosecution. “He didn’t seem to find much joy in life after he came back.”

Watson said Routh was depressed and frustrated that he was living with his parents and had had trouble landing a good job. He had been in and out of veterans hospitals and was on medication.

On the morning of the slayings, Watson testified, Routh’s girlfriend called him and said she and Routh had argued. She asked him to go to Routh’s house and calm him down.

Watson said that when he arrived, Routh’s girlfriend was gone. He said he and Routh smoked marijuana and talked about his life and religion.

At one point, Watson heard someone walking up the driveway.

“I told Eddie that someone was at his house, and he got up to meet him,” Watson said. “I heard someone introduce himself and say, ‘You must be Eddie.’”

And then, Watson said, Routh was gone.

“He left, abruptly,” Watson testified. “… He had mentioned in passing that he was going to a gun range that afternoon. I knew he was going with Chris Kyle, but I didn’t know who Chris Kyle was.”

Watson said he locked up Routh’s home, checked that his dog had food and water, and returned to his home in Alvarado for a nap.

A few hours later, Watson said, Routh showed up at his house displaying a 9 mm handgun and driving a black Ford pickup.

“He said, ‘Check out my truck,’” Watson testified. “‘… I’m driving a dead man’s truck.’”


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Normal Investigators Discovered Drug Paraphernalia, Marijuana, Prescription Pill Bottles & Whiskey Inside Accused Killer Eddie Ray Routh's Home

Post by NiteSpinR on Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:14 am

2/13/15

As they investigated the shooting deaths of "American Sniper" Chris Kyle and another man, officials discovered drug paraphernalia, marijuana, prescription pill bottles and whiskey inside accused killer Eddie Ray Routh's home, a Texas Ranger testified in court today.

Ranger David Armstrong described the layout of Routh's home and the various drug-related objects found there, also including ceramic pipes, a bong, a drug grinder and marijuana.

Prosecutors have highlighted Routh's alleged drug use and alcohol consumption on the morning of Feb. 2, 2013, hours before Kyle and Littlefield picked up the veteran, who they did not previously know, and took him to a gun range in an effort to help him cope with reported post-traumatic stress disorder.

Defense attorney Tim Moore argued during his opening statement on Wednesday that Routh, now 27, fatally shot Kyle and Littlefield because he was suffering from psychosis and feared they might be out to kill him.

During Armstrong's cross examination, Moore suggested many of the prescription pills found on top of Routh's refrigerator had been prescribed to him to treat schizophrenia.
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Routh's uncle, James Watson, testified this afternoon about the time he spent smoking marijuana with Routh on the morning of the shooting.

Watson said the marijuana was strong and his high lasted about for about three hours, after which time Kyle arrived at the home and picked up Routh to go to the shooting range. He disagreed with assertions made by a prosecutor in the trial's opening statements, saying that he and Routh did not drink alcohol that morning.

"We're a God-fearing people," Watson said of his family, adding that Routh had morals and "knows right from wrong." The question of whether Routh knew right from wrong when he shot Kyle and Littlefield is a distinction critical to an insanity defense. I would say that with this statement out went Routh's insanity defense, but the prescription meds for  schizophrenia found inside his house may prove otherwise.

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Normal Routh Judge Refuses To Declare Mistrial

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:41 am

February 17, 2015

Defense attorneys for Eddie Routh began Tuesday morning by asking that the judge declare a mistrial. They claimed that a witness for the prosecution committed perjury last week.

Prosecutors said that it was a simple mistake.

Routh has been accused of killing Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, at a gun range in Erath County two years ago. He then drove to his sister’s Lancaster home in Kyle’s stolen truck and started saying things such as “anarchy has been killing the world,” according to a police officer’s testimony.

After first refusing to leave the truck when authorities arrived, Routh then attempted to flee from police. He was caught minutes later. While the defense is trying to prove that Routh was insane at the time of the killings, the prosecution has been painting the accused murderer as a frequent drug user.

Prosecutors entered drug paraphernalia as evidence on Friday, saying that a hookah, pipes, leafy substance and vials of a clear liquid were all found at Routh’s home. A member of the Texas Rangers testified that he collected the evidence.

However, as the defense pointed out on Tuesday, the vials of liquid were not actually found at Routh’s home. They were the remaining fluids from tests that were run by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Such things are normally taken out of the evidence bag before a trial begins.

The defense argued that the Texas Rangers member who testified that he collected the evidence had committed perjury by saying that the vials were found in Routh’s home. They demanded that the judge declare a mistrial. Prosecutors said that their witness did not specifically say that he found the vials at Routh’s home.

The judge ultimately denied the request for a mistrial, and did not charge the Texas Rangers member for perjury. But a lab worker was called to the witness stand to tell the jury about the vials, and they were disregarded as evidence.

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Normal Jury Hears Routh's Rambling Videotaped Interrogation

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:04 am

2/17/2015

Former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh apologized to the families of slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and another man in a rambling videotaped interrogation that sparked fireworks Monday in an Erath County courtroom.

Routh confessed to the killings and admitted he knew what he had done was wrong during the 90-minute questioning by Texas Ranger Danny Briley just hours after the Feb. 2, 2013, shootings.

But he also babbled incoherently through most of the interrogation, talking about communism taking over America, playing chess, pig excrement and insomnia, and saying he had to kill the two men before they killed him.

“It was a need to get out of there today,” he told Briley. “I was going to be the next one getting my head shot off. … If I didn’t take out his soul, he was going to take my soul next.”

The videotaped interview was played for jurors Monday in Routh’s capital murder trial.

Routh, 27, of Lancaster, is charged in the deaths of Kyle, 38, and Kyle’s friend Chad Littlefield, 35, both of Midlothian, at a shooting range at upscale Rough Creek Lodge and Resort near Glen Rose, southwest of Fort Worth.

Defense attorney Tim Moore challenged the interrogation, suggesting through questioning that Routh’s answers were the nonsensical ramblings of someone suffering from psychosis and other mental illnesses.

“That doesn’t make any sense, does it?” Moore asked.

District Attorney Alan Nash fired back, however, highlighting Routh’s confessions and his admissions that he did know right from wrong.

Routh’s attorneys have indicated he will seek an insanity defense, meaning he suffered from severe mental illness at the time and that he did not know what he had done was wrong.

If convicted, Routh would automatically face life in prison without parole because Nash has indicated he is not seeking the death penalty.

If found not guilty by reason of insanity, Routh would face up to life in a state mental hospital.

Routh told Briley he’d like to apologize to the families, if he could.

“I’d tell them I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” he said. “If I could have done it differently, I would have done it differently.”

He also admitted fleeing the scene, but then at times he also suggested he thought what he had done was right.

“I fled,” he told Briley. “I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know what was right. I didn’t know what was wrong.”

When pressed by Briley about whether he understood that his actions were wrong, Routh said, “Yes, sir,” then added, with a puzzled look, “Would it have been all right if I had stayed?”

Routh also told Briley that he shot the men at close range, saying, “I didn’t mean to be so close.”

After he shot them, he said, “They laid there, and they weren’t breathing anymore.”

He said he had been running on “pure adrenaline” and finally “felt safe” at the Lancaster police station because he was surrounded by officers.

“My adrenaline was so high, I didn’t know what was right or wrong,” he said. “I mean, I knew what was right. I left, you know.”

Jurors also heard several voice messages left by Routh on Kyle’s cellphone while they were trying to make arrangements to go to the shooting range. Several messages were straightforward and direct, but one hinted at underlying problems.

In that message, he noted it was “kind of a sad day” but continued, “It’s a good sad. Rain will come and rain will leave.”

Briley suggested Routh’s comments were philosophical. He said the pronouncements were “Eddie being Eddie.”

Routh sat quietly for most of the testimony and videos, though several of his family members sat in the courtroom with tears streaming down their faces as he babbled in the video.

Kyle’s widow, Taya, was not present for some of the videotaped confession, but she returned in time to hear defense attorney Moore’s challenging questions.

Routh is being defended by court-appointed attorneys Moore and J. Warren St. John, both of Fort Worth, and R. Shay Isham of Stephenville. Nash is joined in the prosecution by Assistant Attorney General Jane Starnes.

Testimony is set to resume Tuesday in state District Judge Jason Cashon’s courtroom. The state is expected to rest its case Tuesday, clearing the way for the defense to begin presenting its own evidence.

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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:35 am

2/17/2015

Over several days of witnesses' testimony, prosecutors reconstructed the day two years ago when they say Routh, 27, killed Kyle and Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield at a gun range about 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth, stole Kyle's pickup truck and was taken into custody following a high-speed car chase.

Forensic scientists discussed evidence on the stand on Tuesday. Blood found on one of Routh's boots was a DNA match to Littlefield, the Dallas Morning News reported. Guns connected to the killings were found with both Kyle's and Routh's DNA.

The court also heard from Routh's mother Jodi Routh on Tuesday.
She took to the stand and told the courtroom that her son was suffering bouts of paranoia after he served in Iraq.
She said was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and that she reached out to Kyle for help.
'Chris assured me that he knew what Eddie was going through,' Jodi Routh said.
She also said that after he returned to civilian life after helping with the relief effort in Haiti, he appeared damaged.
'He wasn't his happy-go-lucky self like he'd always been, a lot more serious,' Jodi Routh said. 'He would really watch what was going on around him, what was going on behind him, just very cautious about people.'
She also said on the day that she learned from her daughter that her son had confessed to stealing a truck and killing two men, she feared it was Kyle.

Just before resting their case, prosecutors presented a recorded phone call Routh had in jail with a reporter from the New Yorker magazine, where Routh again confessed to the killings and said: 'I took care of business and left,' Dallas broadcaster WFAA reported.

In the taped confession, which was taken just hours after he was arrested, Routh told Briley that he killed the men because he thought they were 'headhunters' who were 'trying to hunt everybody down'.
Ultimately though, he said they were not as well trained as him so he was able to take them out. He shot dead Kyle first - because he recognized him more - before shooting dead Littlefield, he said.
'I try to be as normal and as reasonable as I can... I'm pretty damn reasonable,' he told the ranger, according to coverage by The Dallas Morning News. 'I was reasonable and fair with them boys.'
He also revealed how he had told his sister: 'I had to kill a man today... I had to get out of that situation today'.
He also admitted to fleeing after shooting the men at the gun range. He stole Kyle's truck and was ultimately arrested by police following a high-speed chase.
'I didn't know what else to do,' he said. 'My adrenaline was pumped so high. I didn't know what was right. I didn't know what was wrong.'
Still, he showed remorse for his actions and said if he could speak to the families of his victims, he would apologize.
'I would tell them I'm so sorry for what I've done,' he said.
In other parts of the confession, Routh, who was seen yawning at times in the interview and laying his head down in the table, rambles on about the world being a 'soulless place'.
'I've got tons of people eating on my soul right now,' he said. 'The warlords aren't very happy with me. I know that. Everyone knows that in town.'

Ranger Briley took the stand on Monday and recounted how Routh made little sense during the questioning.
'Some of the stuff, I had no clue what we were talking about,' he said. 'I wanted to know, did you know what you were doing was wrong? Clearly, he knew what he was doing was wrong.'
He said he knew immediately that the killings were intentional.
'This was a brutal killing,' he told the court. 'There was no question that I was dealing with someone very violent…You can't accidentally shoot someone that many times.'
Briley's testimony came after a former Secret Service agent testified about calls the men exchanged in the days leading up to the deaths - including a bizarre message Routh left on Kyle's phone.
'Kind of a sad day when it rains,' Routh said in the voicemail. 'It's a good sad. Rain will come and rains will leave. I guess that's what they do.'
His attorneys have claimed the defendant, who had post-traumatic stress disorder, was in a psychotic state. The voicemail message gives some insight into Routh's mental state at the time.
Jeff Shaffer, a former Secret Service agent who analyzed calls between Routh and Kyle, said Routh left four messages and spoke with Kyle several times - for up to 15 minutes - before the murders.


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Normal Four months after the slayings Routh spoke with a reporter from The New Yorker.

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:38 am

“There was a smell in the air that morning, you know,” Routh told the reporter in a recorded jailhouse phone call that was played for jurors Tuesday during Routh’s trial in Stephenville. “It smelled like s--t. I had to take care of business, so I took care of business and I got in the truck and left. I f---ed up, you know.”

Later, reporter Nicholas Schmidle asked Routh whether he thought he had to kill Kyle and Littlefield — or they would kill him.

“That is how I was feeling that day,” Routh replied. “… It smelled like cologne, you know. It smelled like sweet cologne. … I smelled love and hate. You can smell it when it’s in the air, you know. I mean, don’t you smell it? You are out there on the East Coast.”

Moments after jurors heard that call, Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash and Assistant Attorney General Jane Starnes rested their case.


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Normal Routh's Defense Doesn't Deny He Killed Kyle & Littlefield, Instead Claim It Was An Act Of Insanity

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:35 am

2/18/15

The warning signs had been coming for months.

Eddie Ray Routh had stopped bathing, he couldn’t sleep, and he’d often sit for hours on the sofa staring at the wall. Then came the violent outbursts, his family and friends told jurors Wednesday in his capital murder trial.

His sister, Laura Blevins, was afraid for him to be around her young daughter.

“She said he scared her heart,” Blevins testified Thursday. “He said it broke his heart.”

Blevins and others told jurors in the Erath County courtroom about Routh’s deteriorating condition leading up to the 2013 shooting of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and another man at a gun range in Glen Rose, south of Fort Worth.

Routh, 27, a former Marine corporal, is charged in the deaths of Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield, who had taken Routh to Rough Creek Lodge and Resort in hopes of helping him with his post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kyle, an acclaimed soldier who was credited as the deadliest sniper in American military history, had written a best-selling book, American Sniper, that has since been turned into an Oscar-nominated movie.

If convicted, Routh could automatically face life in prison without parole because prosecutors have indicated they will not seek the death penalty.

But Routh’s attorneys have indicated they will show he was insane at the time of the shootings and did not know that what he had done was wrong. If found not guilty by reason of insanity, he could face up to life in a state mental hospital.

Kyle’s widow, Taya, has watched the trial from inside the courtroom, sitting close to her friend Amy Novacek and her husband, Jay Novacek, the former Dallas Cowboys tight end. Littlefield’s parents, Don and Judy Littlefield, have also sat through the trial since testimony began Feb. 11.

In the second day of testimony for the defense Wednesday, Blevins said her brother called her on the afternoon of Feb. 2, 2013, asking if he could come by her house. Her husband agreed, much to her chagrin.

“I had just about had my limit with him,” she said. “I was worried he might go off on a tangent.”

He was speaking gibberish when he arrived — talking of smelling pigs and stealing souls — and driving a big black truck. Then she began to get worried.

“He said he had killed two guys,” she said. “He said he took their souls before they could take his. He said they were out to get him.”

She and her husband, Gaines, tried to persuade him to turn himself in to police. When he didn’t, Gaines Blevins asked him to leave. Routh drove away in the truck — later confirmed to be Kyle’s — and Laura Blevins called 911.

Routh was arrested a few hours later in southern Dallas after leading police on a high-speed chase. He confessed to the killings in a rambling, 90-minute interrogation with a Texas Ranger that night.

The shooting came just a day after he’d proposed to his girlfriend, Jennifer Weed, by dropping onto a knee in his mother’s kitchen and asking her to marry him. She said yes, and he wrapped his arms around her and cried, Weed testified.

By the next morning, however, he was so angry and upset he ordered her to leave the house, she said.

It had been a volatile courtship. Weed told jurors that he was often moody and unpredictable but also could be “very charming, fun to be around, very outgoing.”

He would go through stages of being “catatonic,” or stuporous, and then exhibit erratic behavior, she said.

“Most of the time he just sat there staring at the wall,” she said. “Then he’d break down in tears, then he’d be laughing, and then he’d go back to staring at the walls.”

Once, she testified, she asked him whether he was seeing things and he said yes. Then he began communicating only by writing on a yellow notepad.

“He said they were listening to us,” she said. “He definitely had paranoia about the government being out to get him.”

About two weeks before the shootings, Routh spent the night at the apartment Weed shared with a roommate. Weed said she found him late at night on the sofa with his shirt soaked in sweat.

He began calling her names — “crack whore, demon, telling me I was trying to steal his soul” — but eventually calmed down, she said. By morning, he wanted to visit his lawyer about a DWI case.

Instead of walking out the door, however, he grabbed a decorative ninja sword and told her they couldn’t leave. He later grabbed a butcher knife and held Weed and her roommate hostage until police could arrive, she said.

Weed said she didn’t feel threatened but asked that police take him to a psychiatric hospital.

“He insisted people were out to get us and we were going to stay in the apartment where it was safe,” she said. “I just wanted him to get help.”

He was released a few days later, against the wishes of his mother. Jodi Routh, who worked as a teacher’s aide at the school that Kyle’s children attended, had asked the former SEAL to help her son with what she described as post-traumatic stress.

The trip to Rough Creek Lodge was the first time Routh had met Kyle, 38, or his friend, Littlefield, 35, both from Midlothian.

Testimony is expected to continue Thursday before state District Judge Jason Cashon.

Defense attorneys J. Warren St. John and Tim Moore of Fort Worth and R. Shay Isham of Stephenville have indicated they will present details about Routh’s extensive medical history and his treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis and a personality disorder.

Court officials have indicated the case could go to jurors for deliberations as early as Monday.

Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash is leading the prosecution, with help from Assistant Attorney General Jane Starnes.


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Normal Defense Rests In Capital Murder Trial Of Eddie Ray Routh

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:28 pm

February 19, 2015

Defense attorneys for a Lancaster man accused of killing former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and another man in February 2013 rested their case Thursday afternoon.

Eddie Ray Routh, 27, is charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, who took him to Rough Creek Lodge and Resort in hopes of helping him with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Routh, a former Marine corporal, confessed to killing the men but pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Defense attorneys have said that Routh was in a state of psychosis at the time of the killings. And a forensic psychiatrist testified Thursday that Routh suffers from schizophrenia.

He was exhibiting signs of psychosis in the weeks leading up to and on the day of the shooting deaths of Kyle and Littlefield, testified Dr. Mitchell H. Dunn, a forensic psychiatrist.

Dunn spent more than six hours interviewing Routh in April 2014 to determine his state of mind when he shot Littlefield and Kyle on Feb. 2, 2013. Routh had recently been released from the VA hospital after a psychotic episode.

Routh’s friends and families testified that his behavior in the weeks before the killings was increasingly erratic. He acted as if he believed that someone was going to hurt him and that the government was listening to him.

He described seeing neighbors and friends as turning into pig-human hybrids, Dunn testified. Routh also believed that two of his coworkers were cannibals and were going to harm him.

And on the day Kyle and Littlefield picked up Routh at his Lancaster home, he believed they were going to assassinate him.

“He thought he was going to die if he didn’t take care of business and kill them first,” Dunn said.


In Routh’s mind, he was protecting himself by killing the men, Dunn said.

“If you are going to be killed, then you have the right to defend yourself. He defended himself,” he said. “I’m not saying that’s logical. It’s logical in his sense.”

Dunn analyzed crime scene reports, police interviews with Routh, police interviews with Routh’s loved ones, and Routh’s medical records before interviewing Routh in the Erath County jail.

Routh was hospitalized twice for suicidal tendencies in July 2011. Doctors diagnosed him as having a psychotic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Routh believed he had a tapeworm and that he was wasting away, which Dunn said was likely a delusion.

He was hospitalized again after a fight with his family in September 2012. Again, he was diagnosed with a psychotic disorder. Routh was hospitalized for a final time in January 2013 after he trapped his girlfriend and their roommate in their apartment.

Dunn said that Routh was displaying signs of schizophrenia as early as 2011, when he was first taken to the mental hospital.

If convicted, Routh faces life in prison without parole because prosecutors have indicated they will not seek the death penalty. But if found not guilty by reason of insanity, he could face up to life in a state mental hospital.

Prosecutors will call expert rebuttal witnesses Friday. The trial resumes 9 a.m. Friday.


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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:30 pm

2/20/15

As gun smoke cleared above the bodies of Chad Littlefield and Chris Kyle, Eddie Routh thought to himself, "Jesus Christ, what have I done?" and he became immediately remorseful, so testified psychologist Randall Price, who interviewed Routh for several hours in jail.

On Thursday psychiatrist Dr. Mitchell Dunn told jurors Routh was legally insane at the time of the killings, in the throes of a psychotic episode caused by Schizophrenia.

On Friday Dr. Randall Price basically told jurors that Routh is faking it. He said Routh had "cannabis-induced psychotic symptoms" caused by constant pot smoking, combined with heavy drinking.

A psychologist testified that Eddie Routh's psychosis was a result of substance abuse and that he was faking his insanity. Jim Douglas reports.

Price told jurors that cannabis-induced psychotic symptoms are more visual or smell-oriented, and can last for days or even a month. Jurors have been told Routh was upset by Chad Littlefield's cologne, and that he thought some people were turning into "pig hybrids."

Randall Price, who has a Ph.D. in psychology, said Routh has a "paranoid personality disorder," or a person who always thinks someone is trying to take advantage of them.

He said a disorder is not mental illness. Price testified that marijuana abuse would increase the paranoia.

"It heightens their suspiciousness," he said. "He angers easily."

Price said on the morning before the killings, Routh was "on edge" about his girlfriend, and about having to live with his parents. He said Routh smoked marijuana and drank whiskey shortly before climbing into a pickup with Kyle and Littlefield.

Price told jurors Routh was immediately agitated because he said the men didn't shake his hand, didn't talk to him, made him eat a hamburger he didn't want, and had lots of guns and ammo in the truck.

Price said Routh grew fearful and thought about killing Kyle and Littlefield as they drove, but thought it might cause a crash. So he waited for an "opportune" time.


According to Price, Routh's remorse, among other factors, shows he knew what he did was wrong.

Defense attorneys are now trying to poke holes in Dr. Randall Price's conclusions.

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Normal Re: VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges~ Chris Kyle Former Navy SEAL Sniper & Friend Chad Littlefield Shot & Killed At Gun Range By Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:35 pm

"He did choose the time to kill them," Price said.

Price said Routh indicated he was agitated that Kyle brought Littlefield along for their outing, and "he thought they weren't treating him right." The guns in the back seat of the truck made Routh "fearful for his life" and "he considered to kill them while on way to gun range, but if he did they may have an accident that would kill him."

"Individuals with schizophrenia don't have that much insight to what is going on," Price said.

A second witness for the prosecution, psychiatrist Dr. Michael Arambula agreed, saying, Routh "didn't have issues with Kyle only Littlefield, but because Chris would shoot him for shooting Chad, he had to shoot Chris. And that makes sense, and is not psychotic thinking."


The defense rested their case Thursday.
Prosecution rebuttal is expected to continue Monday.

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Normal American Sniper: Separating fact from fiction in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated movie

Post by NiteSpinR on Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:02 am

2/19/2015

THE MOVIE AMERICAN SNIPER

The 87th Academy Awards are coming this weekend, and the military blockbuster American Sniper has been nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Bradley Cooper’s role as Navy SEAL sharpshooter Chris Kyle.

Some veterans groups and Kyle’s family and friends have mostly praised the movie for its portrayal of urban combat in Iraq, Kyle himself, and veteran struggles with post-traumatic stress. However, the movie strays from the truth on some aspects of Kyle’s life and deployments.

We round-up the biggest factual inaccuracies with the film:

The emphasis on Syrian sniper Mustafa
The film depicts at great length the enemy sniper Mustafa, an apparent near-equal of Kyle’s who once competed in the Olympics as a marksman. However, as the Post’s World Views blog highlighted last month, it is unclear if that particular insurgent sniper ever existed. He is mentioned in just one paragraph in Kyle’s memoir, in which Kyle says he never saw Mustafa.

The movie, on the other hand, shows Mustafa stalking Kyle and his Navy SEAL colleagues through multiple cities and deployments in Iraq over several years. Kyle eventually kills him with a shot of more than 2,100 yards — a major moment in the film and purportedly the SEAL’s longest shot ever. He did take a shot that long, but it hit an insurgent with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, according to his book.

In reality, it’s highly unlikely that one insurgent sniper would have appeared in that many different locations during the Iraq War. Jason Hall, the film’s screenwriter, told The Washington Post that including Mustafa in so much of the film acted as connective tissue and made Kyle’s four deployments less “episodic.” Kyle did not kill him.

Kyle’s prominent use of the satellite phone
The film shows Kyle repeatedly on the phone with his wife, Taya, while on missions “outside the wire.” Several times she listens to the sounds of combat from thousands of miles away, horrified.

In reality, Kyle wrote in his book that his wife experienced something like that just once. Hall, the screenwriter, said he expanded the use of the satellite phone in the movie so that viewers could see them communicate while he was deployed. The couple also used e-mail, but that is not shown in the movie.

The death of fellow SEAL Ryan Job
Kyle witnessed two of his SEAL teammates get seriously wounded in combat. One of them, Ryan Job, took a gunshot to the face in 2006, and died in 2009 while in surgery. His death occurred after he got married and had climbed Mount Rainier, according to his obituary.

However, the film shows Job dying earlier, while Kyle is in Iraq on his last deployment. The altered timeline provided motivation for Kyle to kill the Syrian sniper in the movie.

Kyle’s last day
In the film, Kyle is killed by an unnamed veteran who is struggling with mental issues. The man picks Kyle up at his house, and then the film moves to real footage of Kyle’s funeral at the Dallas Cowboys stadium, a memorial service that drew thousands of people.

In reality, Kyle picked up the veteran — Eddie Ray Routh — at Routh’s house. Routh shot and killed Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, at a rifle range where the three men had gone to hang out.

Routh stole Kyle’s pickup truck and led police on a high-speed chase before he was captured. Routh’s murder trial is now underway. His lawyers, who do not dispute that Routh killed Kyle and Littlefield, are arguing for a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.


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Normal And The Question Remains "Why?"

Post by NiteSpinR on Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:59 pm

2/23/15

After eight days of testimony, the murder trial in the “American Sniper’s” death has not answered the one question that still haunts the families of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield.

Why were the two men killed while trying to help Eddie Ray Routh?

Routh hasn’t revealed a clear reason in the fatal shootings. Kyle was shot four times in the back and once in the face. Littlefield was shot five times in the back.

Instead, the jury has heard a series of bizarre explanations for why Routh allegedly turned the guns on Kyle and Littlefield.

Routh’s attorneys say the former Marine suffers from psychosis, paranoia and schizophrenia. Prosecutors argue Routh is a “troubled man” who struggles with a “personality disorder,” not insanity.

The arguments are in direct contrast to one another. While Dr. Randall Price, a forensic psychologist who testified as the prosecution’s medical expert, said Routh’s heavy marijuana use caused a “substance-induced psychotic disorder,” Dr. Mitchell Dunn said his opinion was that Routh’s “psychosis was not substance-induced.”

“It is my opinion that he was suffering from a severe mental disease or defect that caused him not to know his conduct was wrong,” Dunn testified.

One piece of evidence — video from the police car after Routh’s arrest — shows the accused shooter complaining of mental problems and confusion.

“I’ve been so paranoid-schizophrenic all day, I don’t know what to even think of the world right now,” he told the officer. “I don’t know if I’m insane. Or sane. I don’t know what’s even sane in the world right now.”

Routh’s attorneys have suggested it was the arsenal of firearms lying next to Routh in the backseat of Kyle's truck that triggered his psychosis and paranoia during the 90 minute ride to the gun range.

“At the time of this tragedy, Eddie Routh was insane,” defense attorney Tim Moore said. “Not only was he suffering from a severe mental disease or defect, not only did he not know his conduct was wrong, he thought he had to take their lives because he was in danger.”

Routh said that when the men started shooting pistols at the gun range, he saw it as a showdown.

“So we’re shooting pistols here, huh?” Routh recalls telling Kyle and Littlefield during his conversation with Schmidle. “Again, that’s pretty much saying, ‘Duel mother****er.’ ”

When Schmidle asked what triggered him picking up a firearm and shooting Kyle and Littlefield, Routh replied that he was angry that Littlefield would not participate in the shooting.

“I asked him a couple of times, ‘Hey, are you gonna shoot?’ ” Routh said. “This isn’t a spectator sport. It’s a shooting sport. You shoot. And that’s what got all, you know, wired up.”

After that exchange, Routh said, “I took care of business and then I got in the truck and left.”

Routh’s trial was postponed Monday 2/23/15 due to weather, but it is scheduled to pick back up Tuesday the 24th. Closing arguments are expected this week.

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Normal The Seinfeld Connection ?

Post by NiteSpinR on Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:10 pm

2/23/15

Last week, the prosecution presented as evidence Routh’s taped confession, in which he said he knew it was “wrong” to kill the two men. Now, a medical expert for the prosecution has put forth Routh apparent obsession with the show Seinfeld to show how he may have been imitating the character Kramer in one of his bizarre rants.

The forensic psychologist, Dr. Randall Price, told the court that Routh, who has spent a lot of time watching Seinfeld reruns in jail over the last two years, may have been influenced by the episode in which Kramer claims to have seen a “pigman” in a hospital. He said he found the similarities between Routh’s ramblings about “some kind of pig assassins, or hybrid pigs sent to kill people” and the Seinfeld episode “suspicious.”

“They’re probably creating a whole army of pig warriors!” Kramer says in the episode. As Price put it, “He knew he was in trouble and was setting the stage for, ‘It wasn’t my fault.’”




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Normal Jury Deliberating

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:06 pm

2/24/15

The jury is deliberating in the capital murder trial of a Lancaster man accused of killing former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his best friend in February 2013.

Eddie Ray Routh, a former Marine corporal, confessed to killing Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, but has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. The men took Routh to an Erath County gun range to help him with post-traumatic stress disorder.

An expert hired by defense attorneys said that Routh, 27, suffers from schizophrenia and was in a psychotic state when he killed the men on Feb. 2, 2013, at the Rough Creek Lodge and Resort.

But experts hired by prosecutors said that Routh was faking mental illness when he was arrested for the crime. They said he suffered from cannabis-induced psychosis, which means Routh cannot be found legally insane.

Prosecutors argued Tuesday afternoon that Routh came up with countless excuses for killing the men, none of them caused by mental illness.

“It is time for his deep well of excuses for violent criminal behavior to come to an end,” said prosecutor Alan Nash during closing arguments.

Nash and special prosecutor Jane Starnes said Routh’s behavior in the hours after the killing showed that he knew what he had done was wrong. Routh fled in Kyle’s pickup truck and took Kyle’s Navy-issued pistol, which prosecutors called a trophy.

They also poked holes in Routh’s statements to a forensic psychiatrist.

After Routh’s arrest, he claimed he thought “pig people” were taking over the world. He also said that he believed his neighbors and co-workers were cannibals trying to eat his flesh.

“You reasonable people of Erath County know that that story of hybrid pigmen and pig assassins is a load of hogwash,” Starnes said during closing arguments.

But defense attorneys said that all of Routh’s erratic can be attributed to schizophrenia, which he started exhibiting in July 2011. Defense attorney R. Shay Isham said prosecution’s claim that Routh was suffering from cannabis-induced psychosis was not backed by evidence. Investigators didn’t draw a blood sample from Routh the night he was arrested for the slayings, and records showed that Routh suffered from delusions at times he wasn’t on drugs, Isham said.

“Everybody that knew Eddie said that marijuana calmed Eddie down and helped him relax,” Isham said.

During closing arguments, Isham mentioned that prosecutors repeatedly asked Routh’s mother why she didn’t tell Kyle about the extent of Routh’s mental illness. At that point, Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, stormed out of the courtroom. She was driven away from the courthouse by a friend.


During testimony earlier Tuesday, defense attorneys called forensic psychiatrist Mitchell Dunn to the witness stand to counter rebuttal testimony presented by prosecutors.

“I couldn’t have done what Eddie Routh did if I were trying to fake mental illness,” Dunn said. “I don’t think he’s smart enough to know the character of mental illness is disorganized thinking.”

Dunn said Routh suffers from schizophrenia and not a mood disorder as other experts testified last week. Dunn pointed to Routh’s rambling videotaped confession with authorities after his arrest on Feb. 2, 2013. A sign of schizophrenia is disorganized thinking, and Routh’s speech showed he was unfocused and suffering from delusions, Dunn said.

“Here’s his opportunity to make his case, but he’s not making a whole lot of sense,” he said.

Dunn regularly treats patients suffering from schizophrenia at Terrell State Hospital. He discounted expert testimony from a psychologist who said that Routh was suffering from cannabis-induced psychosis when he killed Kyle and Littlefield. Dunn said that he doesn’t think Routh was intoxicated at the time of the slayings.

And Routh had exhibited similar erratic behavior before at times he hadn’t smoked marijuana, Dunn testified.

Before Dunn testified, prosecutors called a crime scene expert to the witness stand to describe how Routh positioned himself between Kyle and Littlefield when he shot them in February 2013.

Howard Ryan, a crime scene analyst from New Jersey, said he reviewed autopsy reports and crime scene photos to reconstruct how Routh shot Littlefield and Kyle.

Routh shot Littlefield twice in the back and possibly in the head before shooting Kyle, Ryan testified Tuesday.

Kyle was on the grass facing the gun range and had just emptied his revolver when he was shot. Littlefield was standing on the deck behind Kyle when he was shot.

Kyle was shot six times on the right side of his body. Two of those wounds, including one to his face, would have been fatal. Ryan said this shooting pattern is consistent with rapid fire shooting. Kyle was likely facing away from Routh when he fired, Ryan testified.

“He’s not looking. He doesn’t see this about to happen,” Ryan said. “He absolutely never saw this coming.”

Routh continued shooting Littlefield after he shot Kyle. Littlefield had fallen to his knees and then onto his back when he was shot in the face. He was shot seven times total.


Prosecutors also played a recorded phone call Routh made from jail in April 2014 in which he talked about Boss Hog, a television show about hog hunting.


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