Eddie Ray Routh was found guilty of murdering Chad Littlefield and the “American Sniper,” Chris Kyle, at a Texas gun range on Tuesday, February 24, 2015.
According to Fox News, Routh had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since 2010 when he left the Marines. He often drank excessive amounts of alcohol and abused drugs such as marijuana and meth. Routh’s PTSD also led to violent behavior. He was abusive to his girlfriend and made threats to kill his family and even himself. He had been admitted into Veterans Administration Hospital multiple times because of his actions, which caused his mother to worry. Kyle and Littlefield were asked by his mother to help Routh, so they decided that taking him to the gun range would help him cope with his PTSD. However, it only made his condition worse. Routh ended up fatally shooting the two men at the Texas gun range. After killing Kyle and Littlefield, Routh fled in Kyle’s truck to his sister’s house and confessed his crime to her.
“He said that he killed two guys,” said Laura Blevins to the 911 dispatcher. “They went out to a shooting range. Like, he’s all crazy…. I don’t know if he’s on drugs or not [right now], but I know that he’s been [before].”
Two hours later, the bodies of Kyle and Littlefield were found by an employee at the gun range. Since that night, Routh has been in the Erath County Jail on a $3 million bond. His trial began February 11, and he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
“He thought in his mind, at that point in time, that it was either him or them, that he had to take their lives because, in his psychosis, he was thinking they were going to take his,” Routh’s lawyer told the jury.
However, Erath County district attorney Allen Nash said, “Mental illnesses, even the ones that this defendant may or may not have, don’t deprive people of the ability to be good citizens, to know right from wrong, to obey the law.”