ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Jurors in former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura’s defamation lawsuit against “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle have gone home for the night but will return Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle told attorneys he received a note from jurors around noon saying: “We the jury have not reached a unanimous decision. … We feel we will not come to a unanimous decision.”
Judge Kyle asked the jury “to go back one more time and have some further discussions,” and told them not to lower their standards to reach a decision.
He also praised them as one of the most conscientious juries he’s ever had, but noted the case might have to be re-tried if they remain deadlocked.
“There’s no reason to believe the case will be better tried,” said the judge, who is not related to the author.
Late in the afternoon, attorneys for both sides conferred with the judge. They would not say what they discussed but said the jury would be back Tuesday.
Ventura says Chris Kyle defamed him by fabricating a story in his best-selling memoir. Kyle, who died in Texas last year, wrote he decked Ventura in a California bar in 2006 after Ventura allegedly said Navy SEALs “deserve to lose a few.”
Ventura, a former SEAL and professional wrestler, testified that Kyle fabricated the passage about punching him and the quote. But Kyle said in testimony videotaped before his death in Texas last year that his story was accurate.
Both sides presented witnesses who backed their versions of events.
Ventura’s attorney, David Bradley Olsen, has asked for millions in damages.
Monday was the fifth day of their deliberations following about 24½ hours of discussions that began after closing arguments last Tuesday.
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