Eddie Ray Routh has been found guilty of the murder of American Sniper Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield by a Texas jury.
The judge sentenced Eddie Ray Routh to life in prison without parole; prosecutors had not sought the death penalty.
Eddie Ray Routh’s defense lawyers said the 27-year-old was psychotic at the time of the shootings two years ago.
But prosecutors said Eddie Ray Routh was aware of what he was doing when he gunned the pair down at a Texas gun range in 2013.
American Sniper movie, based on Chris Kyle’s memoir of his four tours of duty in Iraq was nominated for best film at the Oscars this year.
The former Navy Seal, who has the most recorded kills of any US sniper, was shot and killed along with Chad Littlefield at a rural shooting range south-west of Fort Worth.
Having retired from the military, Chris Kyle had been helping other veterans deal with combat-related stress and mental health issues.
On the day of the killings, Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield took Eddie Ray Routh with them to go shooting after the defendant’s mother asked for help in dealing with her troubled son.
Eddie Ray Routh, who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, was under extreme mental distress and was convinced the two men would turn on him on the day of the killing, his lawyers argued.
The court also heard that Eddie Ray Routh was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol at the time of the shooting.
In addition, he had been prescribed anti-psychotic medication often used for schizophrenia, reported the Associated Press news agency.
Defense lawyers said Eddie Ray Routh had been mentally affected by the time he spent helping earthquake relief efforts in Haiti with the Marines in 2010.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder on grounds of insanity.
However, a psychologist testified for prosecutors that Eddie Ray Routh was not legally insane, but instead had a paranoid disorder made worse by his drink and cannabis abuse, according to the Associated Press.
As prosecutors had not sought the death penalty, the sentence of life imprisonment without parole was imposed automatically by the judge.
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Iraqi war veteran Eddie Ray Routh has been charged with murdering ex-US Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle and his neighbor in Texas.
Eddie Ray Routh, 25, is accused of the shootings at a gun range on Saturday.
Chris Kyle and his neighbor, Chad Littlefield, were reported to have been trying to help Eddie Ray Routh deal with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Chris Kyle, 38, wrote the 2012 bestseller American Sniper, about the psychology of a sniper, in which he said that he had killed more than 250 people.
He served four tours of duty in Iraq and was decorated for bravery.
The gunman opened fire at about 15:30 local time at the Rough Creek Lodge range, then fled in a pick-up truck belonging to one of the victims, local media reported.
Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant said Eddie Ray Routh then travelled to his sister’s home, telling her what had happened before leaving.
She called the police and Eddie Ray Routh was arrested near his home in Lancaster, Texas, more than 70 miles from the scene of the shooting, several hours later.
Sheriff Tommy Bryant said the motive for the killings was unclear, but noted “it’s my understanding that the suspect may have been suffering from some type of mental illness from being in the military himself”.
Iraqi war veteran Eddie Ray Routh has been charged with murdering ex-US Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle and his neighbor in Texas
Travis Cox, director of a non-profit-making organization Chris Kyle had helped found, told the Associated Press news agency that Eddie Ray Routh was suffering from PTSD and that Kyle and Chad Littlefield were trying to help him.
“Chris died doing what he filled his heart with passion – serving soldiers struggling with the fight to overcome PTSD,” Travis Cox said.
Chad Littlefield was Chris Kyle’s “work-out buddy” and volunteered his time with the veterans, Mr Cox said.
Scott McEwen, who co-authored the book with Chris Kyle, said: “It just comes as a shock and it’s staggering to think that after all Chris has been through, that this is how he meets his end, because there are so many ways he could have been killed.”
Chris Kyle, a former cowboy, is regarded as the most prolific sniper the US has ever seen.
Official Pentagon figures say he killed 160 people, but he estimated the total was 255.
According to military intelligence, he was nicknamed “the Devil” by Iraqi insurgents, who put a $20,000 bounty on his head.
Eddie Ray Routh, a veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has been identified as the suspect in the deadly shooting of American Sniper Chris Kyle.
Chris Kyle, 39, was blasted in the back by Eddie Ray Routh, 25, after taking him on an outing to a shooting range to help him deal with his demons.
Eddie Ray Routh also allegedly shot dead his neighbor Chad Littlefield, 35, who was on the trip too.
Chris Kyle’s death sparked a huge outpouring of tributes across America with many saying that he was a “true American hero”.
He notched up 255 kills during the Iraq war and became so feared by insurgents they put a $80,000 bounty on his head and nicknamed him al-Shaitan Ramad, or “the Devil of Ramadi”.
In one battle alone he shot dead 40 enemy soldiers although his greatest achievement was his longest kill – from a staggering 1.2 miles away.
Chris Kyle told of his career in his memoir called “American Sniper” which went on sale last month and became an instant bestseller.
He also worked with veterans charity the FITCO Cares Foundation, which is where he appears to have come into contact with Eddie Ray Routh.
The shooting happened at the Rough Creek Lodge near Stephenville in Texas on Saturday evening.
Eddie Ray Routh shot dead American Sniper Chris Kyle
Eddie Ray Routh is said to have “turned on” his two victims and shot them before tried to flee the scene in Chris Kyle’s pickup truck.
The former marine – who was reportedly highly trained in the use of firearms – was arrested around 9pm following a chase and is now in custody.
Eddie Ray Routh is now expected to be charged with capital murder over the double shooting.
Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant said that he had “no clue” as to the motive but US reports focused on Eddie Ray Routh’s PTSD.
In interviews Chris Kyle himself has told of how hard it is to leave the military and said it left you with “no identity”.
Chris Kyle left the service in 2009 in order to save his marriage to wife Taya and spend more time with their two children.