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Continued: July 31: Memos detail million-dollar Ventura drama

  • Article by: RANDY FURST , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 4, 2014 - 4:55 PM

Majority vote

Shortly before 10 a.m., attorneys for both sides were summoned to Judge Kyle’s chambers. He asked them if they would accept a less-than- unanimous verdict.

The two legal teams left Kyle’s chambers to consult among themselves and presumably to consult with their clients. Attorney David B. Olsen’s team contacted Ventura. For John Borger’s team, it was presumably Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle’s widow, who oversees the estate. Legal observers have indicated that Borger would have consulted the insurance company covering defamation claims for HarperCollins, publisher of Chris Kyle’s book. The lawyers returned to the judge’s chambers with their responses.

At 11:05 a.m., Judge Kyle sent the jurors a typed memo: “The parties have agreed that if you cannot reach a unanimous verdict, then nine of you may return a divided verdict.”

Kyle got a note back at 11:12 a.m.: “We, the jury, would not be able to deliver a divided verdict with the opinion of nine jurors.” It was signed by the forewoman, whose name has been redacted. Judge Kyle met with the attorneys from both sides again, and they agreed to try to get an 8-2 verdict.

At 11:40 a.m. Kyle wrote that, “The parties have agreed that if you cannot reach a unanimous verdict, then eight of you may return a divided verdict.”

‘We need an envelope’

At 1 p.m., a juror, presumably the forewoman, sent one last hand-printed note.

It said, “Dear Judge Kyle, we the jury have reached a divided verdict. P.S. We need an envelope for the verdict.”

Within minutes, attorneys were notified and they confirmed there was a verdict to the dozen reporters staking out the seventh-floor lobby.

Kyle convened the court and read the verdict form:

“Did Plaintiff Jesse Ventura prove his claim of defamation against Chris Kyle?” jurors were asked.

The jurors checked “Yes.”

“What amount of money, if any, will fairly and adequately compensate Plaintiff Jesse Ventura for damages directly caused by the defamation?”

The jurors filled in the amount: “$500,000.”

“Did Plaintiff Jesse Ventura prove his claim of appropriation against Chris Kyle?”

The jurors checked, “No.”

“Did Plaintiff Jesse Ventura prove his claim of unjust enrichment against Chris Kyle and the Defendant Estate?”

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