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Judge Won’t Dismiss Ventura ‘American Sniper’ Lawsuit

Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, served as a Navy SEAL for eight years before stepping down to focus on his wife and children. (Credit: Daniel Penz, KTVT)

Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, served as a Navy SEAL for eight years before stepping down to focus on his wife and children. (Credit: Daniel Penz, KTVT)

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A judge is allowing former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura’s defamation lawsuit against the widow of slain “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle to go to trial.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle Wednesday denied a motion by Chris Kyle’s widow to dismiss the suit.

Ventura alleges Chris Kyle defamed him in his best-selling book. In it, the former Navy SEAL claimed he punched someone named “Scruff Face,” whom he later identified as Ventura, in a 2006 bar fight. Ventura says the fight never happened.

The judge wrote Ventura has offered enough evidence that a jury could conclude Chris Kyle’s statements were “materially false.”

Chris Kyle and friend Chad Littlefield were shot and killed at a gun range in Glen Rose last year. Iraq war veteran Eddie Routh, whom Kyle was trying to help, is accused in the killings. Jury selection for his trial is scheduled to begin in May.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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