The widow of "American Sniper" Chris Kyle wrote a message expressing her love for her slain husband Wednesday, a day after his killer was convicted of murder and sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison.
"Chris, you are the love of my life. You live on in my heart. You always will," Taya Kyle wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday. "I hope we all live lives that make you proud. And babe, Rest assured you don't need a fancy resting place — you live on … Safe In the hearts you left behind."
Eddie Ray Routh, 27, was convicted of capital murder Tuesday for killing Kyle, a former Navy SEAL reputed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, and Kyle’s friend, Chad Littlefield, at a Texas gun range on Feb. 2, 2013.
Taya Kyle was not present when the jury read its guilty verdict in a Stephenville, Texas, courtroom Tuesday night; she appeared to become angry as the defense made its closing statement and left court.
But she opened her message Wednesday with the line, "What a poetic morning when the snow is melting and the winter is thawing out promising a new day. I have a short story to tell you but first.. God Bless the Jury And good people of Stephenville, Texas!!'
She also thanked a friend and musician who wrote a song that she said captured her late husband and those he left behind.
The jury rejected defense attorneys’ argument that Routh, an ex-Marine who served in Iraq but not in a combat role, was legally insane at the time of the killings.
Kyle and Littlefield took Routh to the shooting range at Rough Creek Lodge and Resort that day to help Routh cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, but he turned on them and shot both men. An expert for the defense said Routh was suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the crime.
"The biggest fallacy of this trial is that Eddie Routh committed this brutal crime because of PTSD," Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash said in a statement Wednesday.
"Many members of the armed services who have honorably served our country have every right to receive services for PTSD. But to claim that PTSD causes a person to commit murder is a disservice both to veterans and those who suffer from mental illness," Nash said.
— Phil Helsel