Law Offices of Tim Powers, Denton, Texas
Last Tuesday, Edie Ray Routh was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the capital murders of American Sniper Chris Kyle and Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield. This two-week trial had quite a number of twists and turns.
It started with trying to find an impartial jury for Routh. It was hard to find a jury that was impartial. Most people had been swayed with bias due to Kyle's book and recent blockbuster American Sniper. After what appeared to be a hard jury selection process the trial began.
There was plenty of evidence that linked Routh to the crimes; however, the motive was unclear at the time. Routh's defense attorney tried to use the strategy of pleading not guilty for reason of insanity. At the time they used the argument that Routh had posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after being surrounded in a war zone for so long. People said Routh had a hard time adjusting to being back in the states. That is why Routh's mother had asked Kyle to help him. Kyle and his pal Littlefield had taken Routh to a gun rage as a type of therapy. Right from the beginning, Kyle could feel that something was odd. He had even texted his buddy claiming that Ruth was "straight-up nuts". A few hours after Kyle texted Littlefield, they were murdered by Routh.
That Thursday of the trial, a forensic psychiatrist had testified that Routh suffers from schizophrenia and was in some sort of psychotic state when he killed Kyle and Littlefield. The defense tried to use the argument that Routh did not know right from wrong. However, a forensic psychologist testified that Routh did not meet the legal criteria of insanity in the state of Texas. Routh knew his actions were wrong. There was also evidence to prove this. Forensic psychologist, Randall Price had met with Routh twice in the jail and claimed that Routh was faking symptoms of schizophrenia and lied about his state of mind. Price also stated that Routh had access to television and often watched Seinfeld, which is where he got the idea of "pig people" taking over the world and cannibals wanting to eat his flesh. The defense then hired another forensic psychiatrist that stated he didn't believe Routh had PTSD. He said he suffered from schizophrenia and was in a psychotic state of mind when he killed Kyle and Littlefield. He also stated that Routh suffered from delusions and that Routh genially believed he was protecting himself that day.
Another argument used in court earlier that week was a confession by Routh. Prosecutors believe that this confession gave Routh a motive for his killings. Former Deputy Gene Cole claimed he overheard Routh confessing that he "shot them because they wouldn't talk to me." Routh also said, "I was riding in the back seat of the truck and nobody would talk to me. They were just taking me to the range, so I shot them. I feel bad about it, but they wouldn't talk to me. I'm sure they've forgiven me."
The jury finally convicted Routh of capital murder where he will face life in jail with no parole. Routh may have been "insane" but evidence proves he knew what he was doing was morally wrong. The Prosecutors and forensic psychiatrists claimed Routh was suffering a psychosis at the time of the incident due to the heavy use of marijuana and alcohol. Finally after reviewing the evidence and hearing all the testimony the jury came to a conclusion.
However, despite, the ruling, Routh filed for an appeal on the grounds that the "jury's guilty verdict did not match the law or evidence in the case," said Routh's attorney J. Warren St. John. He also asked for the appeal to be moved out of Stephenville because he did not believe Routh could get a fair trial there due to the famous book written by Kyle that was later turned into a movie. In the state of Texas, one can asked that the trial be moved to a continuous county if they feel they will not get a fair trial due to publicity. But honestly, it may not make a difference for Routh's case. This story has created too much hype within the United States. What do you think?
If you are seeking aggressive criminal representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney for your Denton County criminal case or arrest in Denton County, contact the offices of Tim Powers today. There is no charge or obligation for the initial consultation. 940.483.8000
*Tim Powers is an attorney licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about any specific legal question you should directly consult an attorney. Criminal Defense Lawyers with Unparalleled Passion for Success Providing Quality Representation for your Denton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Carrollton, Corinth, Highland Village Dallas, Plano, McKinney, Denton County, Tarrant County, Collin County, or Dallas County criminal case