Killer Of Real-Life 'American Sniper' Found Guilty, Gets Life Sentence
The ex-Marine who murdered Navy SEAL Chris Kyle has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
In February of 2013, Eddie Ray Routh, 27, killed Kyle, who is the subject of Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper," along with Kyle's friend, Chad Littlefield, at a Texas gun range.
The BBC reports that Kyle and Littlefield had taken Routh shooting as per a request from Routh's mother, who was worried about her son's struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Routh's lawyers told the court he committed the two murders out of fear that Kyle and Littlefield were plotting against him.
The defendant pleaded not guilty on the grounds of insanity, and his lawyers argued he was battling numerous mental disorders at the time of the shooting.
They said Routh's involvement in aiding victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2010 had the most significant impact on his mental health, according to ABC News.
He had been prescribed medication typically used to treat schizophrenia and was reportedly under the influence of alcohol and marijuana when he shot Kyle and Littlefield.
A psychologist, however, said that Routh was not insane and instead suffered from extreme paranoia, which was amplified by his heavy use of the two substances.
Prosecutors claimed that Routh was in control of his actions at the gun range, and a Texas law states that a victim of mental illness can still be found guilty of a crime if the individual was aware the action was wrong.
After the nine-day trial, the judge told the jury, which consisted of 10 women and two men, that one of three verdicts could be reached: guilty, not guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity.
Prosecutors were not seeking the death penalty, so a judge sentenced Routh to life without parole, according to BBC; this punishment automatically comes with being found guilty of murder.
An official sentence will be read at an upcoming court appearance.