The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court verdict ordering Arizona rancher Roger Barnett to pay damages of $87,000 for holding a group of undocumented immigrants at gunpoint.
The incident occurred in March 2004 when the gun-toting Barnett detained a group of 16 unauthorized immigrants — none of them carrying weapons — on public land near the border town of Douglas, Arizona.
He held the group captive with threats that his dog would attack them if anyone moved or tried to escape. Barnett also kicked an woman while she was on the ground.
A federal court jury in Arizona ruled in 2009 that Barnett had no cause to plead self-defense, since he admitted that no one had attacked or threatened him, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund noted.
Barnett appealed to the Nirth Circuit, which upheld the original verdict.
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