Groups show two views of Barnett court verdict
BISBEE — Two immigration activist groups have differing viewpoints on the results of a civil trial in which a Douglas rancher was accused of detaining a group of illegal immigrants at gunpoint in March 2004.
On Tuesday, an eight-member civil jury in federal court in Tucson found Roger Barnett, 66, liable on four counts each of assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The panel found him not liable on six counts each of violation of civil rights and false imprisonment, two counts each of assault and emotional distress, and one count of battery.
The jury ordered Barnett to pay $17,800 in compensatory damages, but found him only 75 percent at fault, so he just owes $13,350. He was ordered to pay $4 in nominal damages. The panel also ordered he pay a total of $60,000 in punitive damages to four plaintiffs.
Representatives of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and Border Action Network expressed their feelings regarding the outcome of the trial.