Attorney: ‘Sniper’ defamation verdict should be thrown out

Published 10:15 am Thursday, March 5, 2015

ST. PAUL — An attorney representing the widow of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle claims both a judge and jury made mistakes that led to a $1.8 million defamation verdict in favor of former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.

In a brief filed Wednesday, Taya Kyle’s lawyer says the verdict contradicted evidence, violated the First Amendment and should be overturned by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Star Tribune reports that attorney John Borger argued the account didn’t meet the legal threshold for defamation.

Ventura’s lawsuit alleged Chris Kyle fabricated claims in his autobiography about punching Ventura after he made offensive comments about Navy SEALS in a California bar. Ventura says it never happened.

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A former Marine was convicted last month in Chris Kyle’s death at a Texas shooting range.