'American Sniper' Trial: Jury in Deliberations After Closing Arguments

PHOTO: Former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh enters the court for his capital murder trial at the Erath County, Donald R. Jones Justice Center in Stephenville Texas, Feb. 24, 2015.PlayMichael Ainsworth/Dallas Morning News/AP
WATCH Expert Testifies ‘American Sniper’ Kyle ‘Never Saw This Coming’

The "American Sniper" murder trial has been handed to the jury after both the defense and prosecution concluded their closing arguments this evening.

The jury of 10 women, two men and two alternates are tasked with deciding whether Eddie Ray Routh is guilty, not guilty, or not guilty by reason of insanity after being charged with killing famed Navy sniper Chris Kyle and Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield.

Assistant Attorney General Jane Starnes began with the state's closing arguments late this afternoon, going through the various points that the prosecution believes indicate that Routh knew what he was doing was wrong -- which is the defining legal characteristic of sanity -- listing how he fled from police, knew that he would be jailed, and showed remorse shortly after the killings.

She added that it was a "load of hogwash" that Routh allegedly believed Kyle and Littlefield were hybrid "pig assassins."

Members of the defense team took turns addressing the jury, with attorney Tim Moore urging jurors to decide with their conscience and not to be swayed by what they believe the public would think about their decision.

Attorney Shay Isham then argued that Routh was not fleeing the crime scene in a typical manner, as seen by Routh's documented stop at a Taco Bell hours after the shooting.

PHOTO: Defense attorney R. Shay Isham speaks to the jury during closing arguments in the capital murder trial of former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh in Stephenville, Texas on Feb. 24, 2015.Michael Ainsworth/Dallas Morning News/AP
Defense attorney R. Shay Isham speaks to the jury during closing arguments in the capital murder trial of former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh in Stephenville, Texas on Feb. 24, 2015.

A third defense attorney, Warren St. John, spoke to Routh's mental state and the duty of the jurors.

"You'll never have as much power today as you will for the rest of your life," St. John said.

"He killed those men because he had a disillusion, he believed in his mind they were going to kill him," St. John added.

Routh's defense team has argued that the former Marine was in the grips of psychosis and did not know that what he was doing was wrong when he killed the two men. Prosecutors contend that he was sane and should be found guilty of the two murders. If found guilty, 25-year-old Routh faces life in prison.

The closing statements came after a series of rebuttal witnesses provided testimony on the ninth day of the trial, including additional tapes from a jailhouse interview that Routh had with a reporter from The New Yorker.

PHOTO: Assistant Attorney General Jane Starnes delivers her closing arguments during the capital murder trial of former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh in Stephenville, Texas on Feb. 24, 2015.Michael Ainsworth/Pool/Reuters
Assistant Attorney General Jane Starnes delivers her closing arguments during the capital murder trial of former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh in Stephenville, Texas on Feb. 24, 2015.

Excerpts from the interview were already played during the prosecution's initial portion of the case, but the recordings played today included a different call in which Routh can be heard saying, "I don't know why I did it. But I did it."

"It tore my f****** heart out when I did it," Routh is heard saying, suggesting that Routh was aware of what he had done when he shot Kyle and Littlefield.

Routh's defense team has argued that Routh was insane at the time, and hence not responsible for his actions.

Today's testimony began with a crime scene analyst who said that evidence suggested Kyle had no idea that he was about to be shot.

Howard Ryan recreated the 2013 crime scene and determined that Kyle was "definitely not facing the shooter" and "absolutely never saw this coming."

Kyle and Littlefield were shot dead by Routh, a former Marine, at a Texas gun range in February 2013 and Routh has plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

Ryan said that his analysis of the blood patterns and the crime scene indicates that Littlefield was killed first by being shot in the head while he was on his knees, and Kyle was killed second. Both men were killed quickly and at close range, he said.

The defense also re-called Dr. Mitchell Dunn, the psychiatrist who concluded that Routh was insane in earlier testimony. Dunn said today that the forensic psychologist hired by the prosecution, who concluded that Routh was not insane, used flawed methods.

Dunn was one of the final rebuttal witnesses who took the stand before Assistant Attorney General Jane Starnes began with the state's closing arguments.