A Texas jury is deliberating the fate of the ex-Marine who admits he killed "American Sniper" Chris Kyle and another man. His lawyers argue he is not guilty because he is insane, but will the jury buy it?
Kyle's widow, Tara Kyle, got a final shot during the defense closing arguments when she stormed out of the courtroom, slamming the door loudly as the defense delivered its closing arguments Tuesday afternoon.
If Eddie Ray Routh is found to have not known right from wrong when he when he shot Kyle and Chad Littlefield to death at a gun range, he would be committed to mental care facility. If found sane and guilty, he faces life in prison. The state is not seeking the death penalty.
Defense lawyer Shay Isham argued that Routh's stop at a Taco Bell for food, and to go home before fleeing, were both evidence of insanity.
That insanity defense was based on the argument that Routh, who served in the Marines in Iraq and on a ship that provided earthquake relief to Haiti, suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Several mental health experts disagreed with the hypothesis, noting Routh never saw combat.
Nevetheless, the defense also included testimony from friends and relatives who described how Routh changed dramatically when he left the Marines in 2010. "," close family friend Donna Taylor testified. "He seemed disturbed. Not like the fun-loving Eddie. He just seemed bothered."
Prosecutors argued that Routh was faking crazy, however, using ideas from various TV shows.
The fact that he fled the crime scene, later showed remorse, and said he knew he would be arrested, is all evidence he knew what he was doing was wrong, they claim.
"That is not insanity," prosecutor Jane Starnes said in closing arguments Tuesday. "That's just cold, calculated capital murder. He was not, by any means, insane." When Routh shot Kyle at close range six times he wanted him "dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead," she said.
Doctors testifying for the prosecution suggested Routh's heavy use of marijuana and alcohol, and not mental illness, played a large role in his actions that day. "The guy's a doper," prosecutor Alan Nash argued. "He won't stay off dope."
"It's time for his deep well of excuses for violent criminal behavior to come to an end," Nash told jurors. "And I'm tired of the proposition that if you have a mental illness, you can't be held responsible for what you do."
Nash's final plea to jurors: "It's time for him to stop. Find him guilty."
Kyle, who is the subject of the blockbuster war movie American Sniper, took Routh to the gun range as therapy at Routh's mother's request.