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Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

Created: 07/29/2014 3:21 PM KAALtv.com
By: STEVE KARNOWSKI

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A jury has awarded former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura $1.8 million in his lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle.

The federal jury in St. Paul found Tuesday that the 2012 best-selling book libeled Ventura in describing a bar fight in California in 2006. Kyle wrote that he decked a man later identified as Ventura after the man allegedly said the Navy SEALs "deserve to lose a few."

Ventura, a former governor and professional wrestler, testified the incident never happened. Kyle insisted in testimony videotaped before he was slain last year that it did.

Both sides put witnesses on the stand during the two-week trial that backed their version of events.

Legal experts said before the trial Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)