"American Sniper" Murder Suspect to be Tried in May - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Famed "American Sniper" author and a friend were killed at a North Texas gun range

"American Sniper" Murder Suspect to be Tried in May



    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014)

    The death-penalty case against a North Texas man accused of killing former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and another man remains on track for a May trial.

    State District Judge Jason Cashon heard more than 40 motions Tuesday in the case of Eddie Ray Routh, charged with capital murder for the deaths of Kyle and Chad Littlefield at a shooting range near Glen Rose.

    Cashon refused to set aside the indictment against Routh, whose attorneys argued Texas' death penalty statute is unconstitutional.

    The 26-year-old Routh appeared in court in a jail uniform and ankle chains. He no longer wore the thick beard he had in previous court appearances.

    Littlefield's parents attended the hearing but declined to comment on the case.

    Routh is to go on trial May 5 in Stephenville, about 100 miles southwest of Dallas. He pleaded not guilty in the capital murder case on August 20, 2013.

    The judge scheduled a March 7 hearing to consider other pre-trial motions, including the defense's request to exclude possibly incriminating statements Routh made to investigators after his arrest.

    His sister said Routh also confessed the crim to her before he was arrested at her home in Lancaster in February 2013.

    Kyle is reputedly the deadliest sniper in American history, and later wrote a best-selling book about his life at and after war entitled "American Sniper."

    NBC 5 reporter Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.