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Thursday, October 29, 2020
HomeNewsUSRecap: Trial For Chris Kyle’s Killer Eddie Ray Routh Underway

Recap: Trial For Chris Kyle’s Killer Eddie Ray Routh Underway

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The opening arguments in the trial of Eddie Ray Routh, who is charged with the murders of famed Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield began today. Chris Kyle, the real “American Sniper” known for his service in Iraq and compassionate post-service work with veterans, was shot alongside Littlefield by Routh at the Rough Creek Lodge gun range in Texas.

The Kyle family described Littlefield as their “rock” and characterized him as a valuable and indispensable friend.

Kyle’s tragic end came after Eddie Ray Routh’s mother, who worked at the school where the Kyle children attended, asked the hero to help her son readjust to civilian life. Routh’s mother claimed he had been suffering from mental illness, which the defense argued was the cause of his actions and the result of PTSD. Kyle accepted the request, inviting Eddie Ray Routh and Littlefield to the gun range at Rough Creek Lodge.

Taya Kyle testified that when she called her husband “he sounded like he was irritated,” and answered only a brief “Yep” when she inquired if he was alright.  She added that some time had passed before Chad Littlefield’s wife, Leanne, called asking if she had heard from the men. Taya Kyle sent at least one text message to her husband and expressed to him that she was getting worried.

She received no response.

Mrs. Kyle and Mrs. Littlefield had every reason to be concerned. They both received news that no wife ever wants to hear. A police officer known to the Kyle family soon confirmed the two men were dead.

During testimony, the court learned that Chris Kyle sent a text message to Littlefield regarding Routh while driving to the range, stating “this dude is straight up nuts.” Littlefield, who was in the front passenger seat directly in front of Routh replied expressing concern, as well, texting backing, “he’s right behind me. Watch my six.”

Eddie Ray Routh was diagnosed with several conditions, including psychosis, paranoia, schizophrenia and PTSD. Tim Moore, Routh’s defense attorney, is arguing an insanity defense, which legal experts say is more difficult to pull off in the state of Texas. In The Lone Star State, the law assumes a defendant is sane, and the burden of proof lays with the defense to prove the defendant is, in fact, insane.

While the defense claims he was high on marijuana, Moore will no doubt have a hard time proving that Routh was in the midst of psychosis.

Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash described the manner in which Routh committed the crime, underscoring that Chad Littlefield was shot four times in the back, once in the hand, and once in the face. He noted that Chris Kyle was shot five times in the back and side, as well as once in the side of the head. Prosecutors hammered home that Routh used two different guns to commit the murders.

But there are more questions being raised not about the manner in which the act was committed, but rather over the alleged PTSD claim and Routh’s background.

The Warfighter Foundation, a nonprofit veterans group, confirmed the Marine veteran never saw combat nor experienced traumatic situations while serving overseas. Routh served one tour in Iraq in 2007, at Balad Air Base, which was the 2nd largest U.S. installation in Iraq that saw no major violent events.

The Warfighter Foundation filed a Freedom of Information Act request, which revealed the Joint Base Balad was a full-amenity military installation. The base gave U.S. troops access to swimming pools, dancing lessons, a movie theater, American restaurants and snack bars. It frequently housed celebrities and U.S. officials during their visits.

In 2007, Routh was a prison guard at a facility at Balad Airbase located 40 miles north of Baghdad, which held radical Islamic terrorists. On multiple occasions, he lamented to his father over prisoners’ living conditions, including the three-square toilet-paper rations they received daily. During at least one phone call with his father, Routh expressed sympathy for the detainees and expressed anti-U.S. policy sentiments.

But while Kyle’s fans and admirers will continue to pursue these questions, Mr. Nash is certain to focus only on the law, which Day 1 has already shown, is on the side of justice for Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield.

Written by
Editor

Laura Lee Baris is the Assistant Editor at People's Pundit Daily (PPD) and the Producer of "Inside the Numbers" with the People's Pundit. Laura covers politics, entertainment, culture and women's issues. She is also married to the People's Pundit, Richard D. Baris, and a mother to their two beautiful children.

Latest comments

  • Avatar

    MOORE PICK THE WRONG STATE FOR INSANITY DEF.MOORE SHOULD HAVE GONE PLEA DEAL FOR MENTAL INSTITUTION.

  • Avatar

    While I have never heard of “The Warfighter Foundation” before now, I served 22 years on active duty and was stationed at Balad in 2006. The comment about how easy life was at Balad and how out of danger we were is an insult to anyone who served any length of time at “Mortaritaville”. Dance lessons? Really? So since we had a rec center, that negates the fact that we were regularly under attack from insurgents firing rockets and mortars, sometimes on a daily basis?

    I know plenty of good soldiers and airmen who came home from Balad with PTSD. Thank God I didn’t suffer any permanent mental scars (that I know of), but I was lucky, and of the hundred or so indirect fire attacks we endured during my rotation, only a few were within 100 yards of me.

    I realize this “Warfighter Foundation” may think they’re doing the right thing by making our time at Balad sound like a cakewalk and making it sound like Routh has no excuse for PTSD, but they just did so at the expense of the tens of thousands of us who served at Balad.

    • Avatar

      Dave,

      I apologize if you take offense to the information that was provided about Balad. We have only stated, that while Routh was there (for only a few weeks), nothing significant happened. This information was provided only in reference to Routh’s personal experience at Balad.

      You have to realize the bigger picture. We are not trying to prove Balad was a cushy assignment (which for many, it was not), what we have proven is that Routh did not suffer from PTSD, but from a previously existing mental condition. Our goal was simply to disassociate PTSD with violence and murder – which we believe is an incredible service to our nations warriors.

      • Avatar

        I do realize your purpose. I hope I didn’t come across defending this scum. I appreciate your attempts to make people realize that PTSD isn’t a violent condition that needs to be feared. I just wish you hadn’t made it sound like Balad was a five star resort in the process.

        This is what I have a problem with…

        “The Warfighter Foundation filed a Freedom of Information Act request, which revealed the Joint Base Balad was a full-amenity military installation. The base gave U.S. troops access to swimming pools, dancing lessons, a movie theater, American restaurants and snack bars. It frequently housed celebrities and U.S. officials during their visits.”

        It sure makes it sound like you’re the ones who gave this description of Balad after your FOIA request. If not, then this writer needs to re-write the article (in addition to looking at a map, which would tell her that Balad is not in Baghdad*).

        (*which apparently she did after reading my comment…thank you for that at least)

        • Richard Baris

          I am just going to jump in here.

          As the editor (and it was a woman who wrote the story, not a “he”), I will say that – that error was my C&P fault; Balad is indeed located 40 miles away from Baghdad, which is what I meant to C&P.

          That minor detail has been corrected.

          But, as for the claim it is a “full amenities institution,” I will not correct, because it is true. I am not sure when you were station at Balad (if ever), but it is known for their accommodations, which is why both correspondents and celebrities confirmed to us they chose the base.

          That is particularly true of when Routh was stationed there.

          Logistics Support Area Anaconda, coupled with Routh’s lack of assignment, does not reasonably assume he ever had PTSD or any condition (other than a dubious one) AS A RESULT of military service.

          If you see anything else here, then you are missing the point.

          • Avatar

            I was there in 2006, and I served with plenty of Airmen who were there in 2007 and the conditions hadn’t changed since I was there.

            When were you there, Mr. Baris? How many U3 days did you endure because of the barrage of indirect fire? I’m quite sure those weren’t fireworks that interrupted our pool-side sunning on a regular basis.

          • Avatar

            Why don’t you tell the family of Antoine Holt what a cakewalk Balad was? I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.

            I was the medic attached to the 607th Air Control Squadron out of Luke AFB. A1C Holt was in the 603 ACS in Aviano. There’s a reason they called Balad “Mortaritaville”. The frequent mortar attacks continued through 2007 when Routh was there, so he was just lucky if none happened during his time.

            A1C Holt was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but LOTS of the folks in the area that night came home changed. It was just another indirect fire attack. Just another insignificant inconvenience. Until a round dropped through the roof and landed right next to A1C Holt’s cot.

            I’m quite sure it seemed insignificant to anyone else on base, just like all the annoying rocket and mortar attacks that sometimes ruined our chance to eat that evening. But I’m pretty sure it was significant to his family.

            Again I’m not defending Routh, but if you think it’s responsible reporting to paint a picture of Balad as some kind of desert oasis far from battle, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

            http://projects.militarytimes.com/valor/air-force-airman-1st-class-antoine-j-holt/257164

          • Richard Baris

            We are an unabashedly pro-military outlet, but again I’ll repeat, by 2006, there were “no major major incidence of violence,” per DoD, and by 2007, Popeyes, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Burger King, Green Beans Coffee and a Turkish Cafe had all set up shop.

            Antoine Holt, sir, died in 2004. So, we aren’t sure who you are offended by, but you aren’t defending the memory of anyone.

          • Avatar

            Yes, Holt died in 2004. I was there in 2006. The frequency of mortar attacks hadn’t changed much until after 2007. What…did you Google something and assumed if it was on the internet it was true?

            Again…when were you there? Who have you spoken to that was actually there in 2006 or 2007?

            And you claim to be pro-military. What a joke.

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