MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Defense lawyers in the Jesse Ventura defamation case rolled out a parade of witnesses Wednesday claiming Ventura got punched out in a California bar.
That’s the claim in the best-selling war memoir “American Sniper” by the deceased author Chris Kyle. It’s about to be made into a movie.
But the bar fight is a claim Ventura says never happened.
For the last two days, Navy SEALs have claimed in court that they saw one part or another of the bar fight. Ventura, described in the book as “scruff face,” is accused of shooting off his mouth about the war and Navy SEALs, and getting punched out.
On Wednesday, one SEAL said he saw it all. Jeremiah Dinnell told the 10-person jury he witnessed the scuffle between Ventura and Kyle.
Dinnell said Ventura was loudly criticizing the war in Iraq to active duty Navy SEALs, who were attending a funeral wake.
According to Dinnell, Ventura told the SEALs: “You guys deserve to lose some guys over there.”
Dinnell said Ventura was in an “aggressive stance” when Kyle hit him.
But Ventura’s lawyers say Dinnell’s story has changed since Ventura filed the lawsuit two years ago. They say Dinnell changed his story so that it more closely resembles the account in Kyle’s book.
However, when he was questioned by lawyers, Dinnell said he remembered Ventura’s exact words.
Dinnell, like Kyle, was also a sniper in Iraq and Afghanistan. In court, he said he had 47 confirmed kills.