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A guilty verdict was reached this week in the “American Sniper” trial. A jury convicted Eddie Ray Routh for the double murder of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield in a matter of hours on Tuesday.

Routh, a former Marine, shot Kyle and his friend in the backs at a Texas gun range in February 2013. The story became national headlines after Kyle’s autobiography was turned into the Oscar-nominated film American Sniper in 2015.

Routh initially pleaded not guilty by insanity, but cross examinations proved that Routh was aware of actions and knew right from wrong at the time of the shooting. He was also heard apologizing to the families of both victims during his interview with detectives.

According to ABC News:

State prosecutors have made it clear that they would not be seeking the death penalty in the case, and while the sentence for murder is life in prison, Routh’s sentence officially will come at a later court hearing.

During the 9-day trial, the prosecution and the defense have presented dueling testimony from mental health experts about whether Routh was insane when he committed the murders. Under Texas law, even if a person was suffering from a mental illness, they can be found guilty as long as they understood that what they did was wrong.

Kyle’s widow Taya abruptly left the courtroom before the verdict was reached. Littlefield’s family spoke to reporters:

“We waited two years for God to get us justice for us on behalf of our son and as always God has proved to be faithful,” Judy Littlefield said. “We’re so thrilled that we have the verdict that we have tonight.”

Chad Littlefield’s half-brother told Routh he “took the lives of two heroes, men who tried to be a friend to you.”

Jerry Richardson called Routh “an American disgrace,” and said “Your claims of PTSD have been an insult to every veteran who served with honor.”

Littlefield’s father also addressed Routh, saying, “The State of Texas has decided to spare your life, which is more than you were willing to do.”

Routh has an automatic life sentence. Prosecutors have no plans to pursue the death penalty. His official sentence will be announced in the upcoming weeks.


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