Wednesday, February 25, 2015

American Sniper Killer Guilty, Life Sentence

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Deadliest Sniper Chris Kyle was killed by one of the veterans he was trying to help.  Shortly after the massive box office success of the film "American Sniper," in which Bradley Cooper plays Kyle in a portrayal of the Navy SEAL and his journey from cowboy to "The Legend," Eddie Ray Routh, the killer of Kyle was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  Routh served in the Marine Corps, and there is an old saying that there is no such thing as an ex-Marine, but in Routh's case, there may be an exception.

Routh shot and killed Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield at a gun range February 2, 2013, shooting the men several times.  After the sentence was delivered by the judge, the families had an opportunity to address Routh before he was taken out of the room.  Kyle's family declined to speak, but the brother and father of Littlefield sternly addressed Routh.

“You took the lives of two heroes — men who tried to be a friend to you,” said Jerry Richardson, Littlefield's brother. “You became an American disgrace.”

Kyle, as a form of therapy for fellow veterans, often took veterans struggling with adjusting after serving in a combat capacity to shooting ranges.  It was during one of those sessions that Routh killed Kyle, and Littlefield.  The latter victim, though not a military veteran, often volunteered his time to help veterans.

Routh's defense was based on an argument that he suffered from mental illness and post-traumatic stress syndrome.  In their closing arguments, prosecutors said Routh may have been high from drinking liquor and smoking marijuana earlier in the day, but that he was too calculated in the shootings and his getaway to be legally insane.

“Crazy don’t run,” attorney Jane Starnes said. “Just because it was a senseless crime, doesn’t make a person insane.”

Prosecutors maintained that Routh timed it for Kyle to run out of bullets, then surprised both men by shooting them in the back multiple times.  The jury only took two hours to determine their verdict, finding Routh guilty of capital murder.

Kyle, known as "America's Deadliest Sniper," and the subject of the recent Hollywood film "American Sniper," based on Kyle's book, served four tours of duty in the Middle East, receiving multiple honors for his service in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

No comments: