Ex-marine found guilty of murdering real-life ‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle

Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield were killed at a Texas shooting range in February 2013

A former marine has been found guilty of the murder of American Sniper author Chris Kyle and Kyle’s friend, Chad Littlefield.

Kyle and Littlefield were shot several times and killed at a shooting range near Chalk Farm, Texas on February 2, 2013. Eddie Ray Routh, 27, was arrested for the murder of both men but pleaded not guilty on grounds of insanity.

However, a jury in Stephenville, Texas rejected the argument from Routh’s defence team that he was insane and suffering from psychosis at the time. Routh’s defence team claimed their client had been mentally affected by his spell with the Marines doing earthquake relief work in Haiti in 2010.

Because prosecutors chose not to seek the death penalty, the Associated Press reports, Routh received an automatic life sentence without parole after the jury found him guilty yesterday (February 24).

Kyle’s widow, Taya Renae Kyle, had been present in the courtroom earlier in the day but did not watch the jury’s verdict come in. Littlefield’s mother, Judy, told reporters outside the court house that her family had “waited two years for God to get justice for us on behalf of our son and, as always, God has proved to be faithful. We’re so thrilled that we have the verdict that we have tonight.”

Kyle’s memoir, American Sniper: The Autobiography Of The Most Lethal Sniper In US Military History, was published in 2012 and chronicles his career as a US Navy SEAL, during which he was responsible for a record 160 kills. He is portrayed by Bradley Cooper in Clint Eastwood’s acclaimed film adaptation, which has grossed over $430 million (£277 million) worldwide and received six Oscar nominations.