The first half of day two of jury selection in Sines v. Kessler civil lawsuit in Charlottesville proceeded largely as expected, with a few moments of dumbfounding rulings and arguments, against a backdrop of allegations of potential jury intimidation by Antifa.
The third day of jury selection in Sines v. Kessler saw the plaintiffs dealt another loss by U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon, who denied their Batson challenge to a juror the plaintiffs wanted on the jury and that defendant’s had peremptorily struck on Monday.
The fourth day the trial Sines v. Kessler saw the plaintiffs and defendants offer their opening statements to the jury and before U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon.
The fifth day the trial Sines v. Kessler saw the first plaintiffs’ witnesses take the stand and give evidence.
The sixth day of the Sines v. Kessler trial saw cross-examination of the second plaintiffs’ witness, where his crafted veneer of innocent motives, non-aggression and claims of “community self-defense” by UVA students withered under sustained assault on cross-examination by defendants.
The seventh day of the Sines v. Kessler trial saw the plaintiffs put defendant Matt Heimbach of Traditional Workers Party on the stand to interrogate him for most of the day.
Most of the eighth day of the Sines v. Kessler trial was taken up by emotional or expert testimony that laid absolutely no foundation for the allegation that the organizers and participants in the August 2017 “Unite the Right” permitted event engaged in a criminal conspiracy to commit racially motivated violence.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys managed to get under the skin of both court observers and U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon in the ninth day of the Sines v. Kessler trial.
The following are dispatches from reporter Trey Garrison that summarize proceedings in Sines v. Kessler from Monday and Tuesday.
The highlight of Wednesday’s proceedings in Sines v Kessler was watching pro se defendant Christopher Cantwell absolutely shred plaintiff Seth Wispelwey’s eyewitness testimony to the events of Aug. 11-12, 2017 at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.
On Monday, Nov. 15, the plaintiffs still had not rested in Sines v Kessler despite being given an extra day and an extra week, to which even US District Court Judge Norman K. Moon warned plaintiff, “The jury is getting mad.”
It’s been 17 days since plaintiffs started their case in the civil case of Sines v Kessler – seven days longer than they were allotted as they plodded and meandered in trying to make their case that the defendants conspired to commit racially motivated violence – and on Tuesday they finally rested.
Defense finished their closing arguments on Wednesday in the civil case of Sines v Kessler, with the highlight being pro se defendant Christopher Cantwell’s direct and cross-examination of plaintiffs’ testimony.
Both plaintiffs and defendants spent Thursday making the final arguments in the civil case of Sines v Kessler, with the highlight being pro se defendant Christopher Cantwell’s impassioned final say as well as a skilled argument from defense attorney Bryan Jones, representing the League of the South.
A federal jury in the Charlottesville, VA, civil case of Sines v Kessler could not reach a verdict on claims one and two in the Unite the Right civil trial, but did on count three, as well as the more specific charges related to James Fields directly.
While the verdict assessed damages against the defendants, the fact that plaintiffs spent four years and reportedly $25 million and could not secure liable verdicts on the two banner charges was a victory, especially given how heavily U.S. District Court Judge Norman Moon put his thumb on the scale for plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs asked for between $3-5 million in actual damages per plaintiff another $7-10 million per plaintiff – they got far less.
Claim one was the most prominent claim by the Jewish activist group Integrity First for America against the defendants in the lawsuit because it pertained to whether the defendants conspired to commit racially motivated violence. The jury could not come to an agreement.
The jury could also not reach a verdict on claim two, which pertained to whether the defendants had knowledge of a conspiracy for racially motivated violence and failed to prevent it.
The jury in Unite the Right trial found all of defendants violated Virginia state conspiracy laws.
The jury awarded symbolic $1 or $0 awards to plaintiffs on damages for counts one through three, and $500,000 awards against defendants Jason Kessler, Richard Spencer, Christopher Cantwell, Nathan Damigo, Eli Kline, Matthew Heimbach, Matthew Parrot, Dr. Michael Hill, Michael Tubbs, as well as $1 million damages against TWP, the National Socialist Movement, Vanguard America, League of the South, and Identity Evropa on counts one through three.
On the fourth count, religious or ethnic intimidation, the jury assessed damages of $200,000 against Kessler, Spencer, Kline, Robert Ray and Cantwell.
In the charges related to Fields, the jury awarded $6 million total in damages and $6 million in punitive damages. That wasn’t a misprint.
Several defendants have already announced their intention of appealing the decision.