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Appeals court upholds verdict against southern Arizona rancher

A federal appeals court has upheld a 2009 ruling against an Arizona rancher related to his assault on illegal immigrants in 2004.

The Arizona Daily Star reported Friday the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Roger Barnett must pay about $87,000 in damages.

The court ruled that Barnett was not entitled to claim self-defense because he acknowledged none of the illegal immigrants had threatened or attacked him.

A federal jury issued a split verdict in a case against Barnett in February 2009, stemming from the 2004 incident. The jury found that Barnett didn’t violate the group’s civil rights and that he wasn’t liable on claims of battery and false imprisonment.

The jury did find Barnett liable on four claims of assault and four claims of infliction of emotional distress and ordered Barnett to pay $77,804 in damages. The $87,000 reflects the original amount plus interest.

A man answering the phone at Barnett’s towing firm said Barnett was unavailable for comment.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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