Chad Littlefield's aunt has 'peace in my heart' after 'American Sniper' verdict

Chad Littlefield's aunt has 'peace in my heart' after 'American Sniper' verdict

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield's families waited for two years, but it only took about two and a half hours for the jury to reach the verdict they were hoping to hear.

"We the jury find the defendant Eddie Ray Routh guilty of the felony offense of capital murder," Erath County District Court Judge Jason Cashon announced to a packed courtroom.

These words provided closure and solace for Littlefield's aunt, Frances Cooper, who lives in Lubbock.

"I have a peace in my heart," Cooper said. "I'm just glad it's over with. It's been a long two years."

Cooper watched the high-profile trial unfold from afar. She said it was hard to watch her sister, Judy, go through such a difficult time.

"Every time I was watching the news on the TV, my heart was heavy because of the way she's suffering and feeling," Cooper said. "She misses him. Nothing's going to bring him back."

Eddie Ray Routh was a former Marine who served a non-combat role in Iraq. In 2013, Kyle and Littlefield took Routh to a shooting range after his mother asked Kyle to help him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. Although Routh admitted to killing the two men, he pleaded not guilty. His lawyers and family members asserted that he suffered from psychotic episodes caused by PTSD.

"I'm just glad the jury didn't go for it," Cooper said. "He knew what he did. I was real happy with the verdict they gave."

Jurors in Stephenville found Routh guilty of capital murder. He now faces life in prison without parole - a sentence that Cooper said will allow her and the rest of her family to begin the path to healing by holding on to the legacy Littlefield left behind.

"Chad was a very caring, very loving person," Cooper said. "If you had a problem, it was nothing for him to throw an arm around you and be there. To me, he was a hero just because he was the person he was. He was a special person."

Cooper says Littlefield left behind a wife and six-year-old daughter. Kyle's widow, Taya, stormed out of the courtroom while the defense was giving their closing arguments and was not present when the verdict was announced. Routh showed no visible emotion when Littlefield's family members addressed him in court.

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