“American Sniper” murder suspect looking for a fair trial

Chris Kyle's life story is told in the blockbuster movie "American Sniper"

(CNN) – An intense movie that fills the screen with powerful, emotional, and unforgiving horrors of war; “American Sniper” is a film centered around America’s most lethal sharp shooters, Chris Kyle. A man many are calling a hero.

A big hit at movie houses across the country; “American Sniper” is now the highest grossing war film ever, earning more than $240 million so far. It has also been nominated for six academy awards including best picture and best actor.

Bradley Cooper, who portrays Chris Kyle in the film, said, “Hopefully this movie can educate those of us who aren’t really familiar with the plight of the soldier and the soldier’s family.”

However, Kyle’s life didn’t have a Hollywood ending. In 2013 the navy seal was shot and killed at a Texas gun range. A former marine, who Kyle was trying to help cope with PTSD, is charged with murder.

Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle’s widow, said, “I stand before you a broken woman, but I am now and always will be the wife of a man who was a warrior both on and off the battlefield.”

Jury selection begins Thursday for the trial of Eddie Ray Routh, the man accused of killing Kyle, but with Kyle’s popularity is growing of late, the attorney for the man accused of shooting him has said he thinks the trial should be moved out of the small Texas County where Kyle was killed.

Some experts say the recent publicity generated by the movie in and of itself may not be enough to jeopardize the case. Theresa Zagnoli, a trial consultant, said, “Those people that are being called for jury duty this week. They already had their opinions; they have been living this for two years.”

Chris Kyle’s life and the movie are not without controversy. Jesse Ventura, the former Minnesota Governor, said, “It’s a propaganda film that is as authentic as a dirty harry.”

One of loudest detractors of Kyle’s life and the film is Ventura. He has slammed Kyle and his story, including winning a lawsuit against Kyle’s estate over a passage in the book “American Sniper” where Kyle claimed to have punched Ventura in a bar in 2006.

Ventura said, “A hero should have honor. A hero is not how many people you’ve killed. You know he was obviously a great sniper. He’s obviously a great shot. He obviously did his job correctly. Alan, let me fire this one at you: Do you think the Nazis have heroes?”

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