Aryan Nations found guilty, ordered to pay millions

Friday, September 8th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – In a verdict which threatens to bankrupt the white supremacist group, a jury in this North Idaho town has found the Aryan Nations guilty of assaulting a woman and her son two years ago.

The jury ordered the group’s founder, Richard Butler, to pay $4.8 million in punitive damages, and $250,000 in compensatory damages, to Victoria Keenan and her son Jason. The two sued the group for an attack by guards near the compound two years ago.

Michael Teague, Butler’s right hand man, is also being forced to pay $600,000 in punitive damages and $80,000 in compensatory damages.

It is a victory for the Keenans, although they will not receive the $11 million they asked for. The Keenans were represented by Southern Poverty Law Center lawyer Morris Dees, who has won large compensatory and punitive damage awards that have financially crushed other hate groups.

Only nine members of the 12-member jury had to agree on several questions for any damages to be awarded.

Follow this link to see reaction to the verdict.