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 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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Normal VERDICT IS IN: Routh Found Guilty Of 2 Capital Murder Charges

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:45 pm

2/24/15

Eddie Ray Routh Found Guilty in Murder of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield.
He was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


No one disputes that Routh shot and killed the men. But defense attorneys say Routh was insane.

Prosecutors dismiss that claim outright.

“Ladies and gentleman, that is not insanity. That is just cold, calculated capital murder. He is guilty of capital murder. He is not in any way insane,” said attorney Jane Starnes during closing arguments.

She claimed Routh knew the difference between right and wrong.

Starnes urged jurors to “follow the law,” allowing the law to guide them “to the true and correct verdict.”

For its part, the defense pointed to Routh’s long history of mental illness.

“He killed those men because he had a delusion. He believed in his mind that they were going to kill him,” said attorney J. Warren St. John.

Jurors can pick from three choices: guilty, not guilty, or not guilty by reason of insanity.

Routh’s trial comes in the wake of the release of the film about Kyle, a former Navy SEAL who claimed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, with 160 confirmed kills in Iraq.

“American Sniper,” directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, is already the highest-grossing war movie.

Kyle’s autobiography by the same name spent weeks on best-seller lists. He had already risen to fame through his book when he died and was involved in charitable work to help former troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, took Routh to the firing range as a kind of therapy.

The range is a small, remote part of the sprawling 11,000-acre Rough Creek Lodge, and the men were isolated.

A hunting guide found Kyle, 38, and Littlefield, 35, who also was a veteran, motionless and called 911. The men were dead when officers arrived.

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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 25, 2015 3:15 pm

I knew he'd be found guilty but WHY didn't he get the DP???

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Normal Attorneys for ‘American Sniper’ killer Eddie Ray Routh file notice of appeal

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:43 pm

March 3, 2015

Attorneys for Eddie Ray Routh filed notice Tuesday that they would appeal his capital murder conviction.

Routh was convicted last Tuesday of capital murder for killing former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield. Jurors rejected his attempt at a defense by reason of insanity, and he received an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole.

The notice says the jury’s decision does not match the law and the evidence in the case. Lead attorney J. Warren St. John of Fort Worth confirmed that he filed the notice with the Erath County court.

St. John said he visited with Routh on Tuesday and that he was “in relatively good spirits.”


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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

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