Why was Chris Kyle killed

American Sniper Trial: The Verdict - It was murder

A sad victory for the widow of the "American Sniper" Chris Kyle († 38).

Her husband's killer, ex-Marine Eddie Ray Routh (27), who shot the deadliest sniper in US military history (160 official, 75 unofficial "kills") on February 2, 2013 on a shooting range, was killed Founded guilty of double murder. Chris Kyle's friend, Chad Littlefield, had also fallen victim to the veteran.

A small court in Stephenville, Texas passed the verdict on Tuesday. Since the public prosecutor had waived the death penalty, this automatically meant: life imprisonment. No chance of a pardon.

The jury (10 women, 2 men) only deliberated for two and a half hours. Then they agreed and returned to the courtroom with a verdict.

Kyle's widow Taya (40), who was present on all trial days and always held her dead husband's identification tag in her hands, could not bear the tension. She had left the court and had not come back for the verdict.

The anxious questions: Would the jury go along with the charge that said Iraq veteran Eddie Routh suffered from "post-traumatic stress disorder" but knew exactly what he was doing when he shot Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield from behind?

Or would they believe the defense, which claimed: he was insane at the time of the crime, feared ogre-eaters and half-pig and half-human beings?

Then came the answer all of America was waiting for: Guilty! Chris Kyle, admiringly dubbed "The Legend" by other Navy Seals and "The Devil of Ramadi" by his enemies, is the victim of murder.

Eddie Routh accepted the verdict without moving. Even when family members of Chad Littlefield, who was shot by him, spoke to him (“You got what you deserve”), he remained emotionless.

He himself had provided the evidence that led to the guilty verdict. He had given an interview with the magazine "The New Yorker" while in custody. In it he said about the day of the crime that there had been tension between the three men at the shooting range because Littlefield hadn't shot.

Routh at the time: “I asked him: What's going on? Finally shoot. This is a sport. So go ahead and shoot. "The ex-marine continued in the interview:" That really piqued me. And then I just took things into my own hands. I settled the matter and then disappeared. "

It was clear to the jury that he knew what he was doing.

Immediately after the guards removed him in handcuffs, the second victim's mother spoke outside the court. "We are grateful for this verdict," said Judy Littlefield, tearful in front of the cameras. “We waited two years for justice and for our son's death to be atoned for. God made the right decision. "

The verdict is the last chapter for the time being about the tragic death of the former rodeo cowboy Chris Kyle. The Texan joined the Marines after the September 11, 2001 attack and volunteered for four missions in Iraq.

There, the father of two small children made history in around 1,000 days of work. From his hiding place he watched over his comrades who were running through the streets of Baghdad in the guerrilla war and officially shot 160 enemies (plus 75 unofficial kills).

When he returned from the war, he wrote his biography, which was filmed by master director Clint Eastwood and nominated for six Academy Awards. The film (starring Bradley Cooper and Siena Miller) sparked bitter controversy in the United States. While some celebrated the "American Sniper" as a hero, others insulted him as a trigger-happy racist who hates Muslims.

The unusual thing is that it was the first time that a film about a murder victim was shown in cinemas while the trial was being negotiated at the same time.

American sniper Chris Kyle

For the widow, however, this is not the end of her suffering. Taya Kyle has already lost a lawsuit for damages against former Marine, catcher and governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura. Reason: Kyle wrote in his book that he beat up Ventura in a bar in 2006 because he was said to have said, “The war was wrong. The Marines deserved to lose some men in Iraq. ”Ventura was awarded $ 1.8 million because Kyle couldn't prove that Ventura really said so.

Now the widow and mother of two children is facing another lawsuit: Her husband's former business partners want parts of the profit from the biography and the film (the most successful war film of all time with more than 300 million dollars in revenue). Reason: Kyle wrote the book while he was at work.