A former Marine has been convicted in the deaths of the author of American Sniper and another man at a shooting range in Texas two years ago, as jurors rejected defense arguments that he was insane and suffered from psychosis. The trial of Eddie Ray Routh has drawn intense interest, in part because of the blockbuster film based on former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's memoir about his four tours in Iraq. Since prosecutors didn't seek the death penalty in the capital murder case, the 27-year-old receives an automatic life sentence without parole in the deaths of Kyle and Kyle's friend, Chad Littlefield.
The prosecution painted Routh as a troubled drug user who knew right from wrong, despite any mental illnesses. While trial testimony and evidence often included Routh making odd statements and referring to insanity, he also confessed several times, apologized for the crimes, and tried to evade police. Kyle and Littlefield had taken Routh to the shooting range at Rough Creek Lodge and Resort on Feb. 2, 2013, after Routh's mother asked Kyle to help her troubled son. Family members say Routh suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from serving in Iraq and in Haiti, and defense attorneys argued that Routh, who had been prescribed anti-psychotic medication often used for schizophrenia, believed the men planned to kill him.