The Eddie Ray Routh jury selection begins today in the murder case of American Sniper Chris Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield. Routh, also a veteran, was reportedly suffering from PTSD when he allegedly killed the most lethal sniper in the history of the United States Military.
Chris Kyle was attempting to help Eddie Ray Routh cope with PTSD at the time of the double shooting at a Texas gun range. Routh’s attorneys are calling for a change of venue in the murder case, claiming that the popularity of American Sniper will make it extremely difficult to select an impartial jury for the Eddie Ray Routh trial.
American Sniper is not only a January box office sensation, it is the most profitable and popular war movie ever released in American. If the judge in the Chris Kyle murder case did approve the change of venue request by Eddie Ray Routh, it is very likely the accused killer would still be faced with American Sniper fans in the prospective jury pool.
On February 2, 2013, just four years after Navy SEAL Chris Kyle left the military, he and his friend, Chad Littlefield, were allegedly shot and killed by the former Marine they were helping to cope with his PTSD. Eddie Ray Routh, 25, was with American Sniper Chris Kyle and Chris Kyle at a Chalk Mountain area gun range. Eddie Routh’s trial is slated to begin on February 11 with four sessions of jury pool questions being held today.
Jurors in the Chad Littlefield and Chris Kyle murder case are reportedly being asked if they have seen American Sniper and if they read the book the blockbuster movie was based upon.
“My client will plead not guilty by reason of insanity,” Routh’s defense attorney, J. Warren St. John, told the media.
Texas prosecutors overseeing the Chris Kyle murder case are not seeking the death penalty against the former Marine accused of shooting the military hero.
J. Warren St. John is not permitted to speak publicly about the Chris Kyle murder trial due to a court protective order preventing all involved from speaking to the press. In 2013, a Texas judge issued the gag order in the American Sniper trial due to the “unusually emotional nature of the issues involved in the case and the extensive local and national media coverage the case has already generated.”
Eddie Ray Routh was a small arms technician in Iraq before leaving the Marines in 2010. Approximately 800 people were reportedly named to the Chris Kyle murder trial jury pool. A total of 12 jurors and two alternates will be chosen to try the alleged murder of the Navy SEAL American Sniper was based upon.
Do you think a change of venue is warranted, or would it make a difference in the Eddie Ray Routh murder trial of Chris Kyle?
[Image via Twitter]