- Associated Press - Thursday, October 20, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The News & Observer of Raleigh has been ordered to pay about $6 million to a State Bureau of Investigation agent who won a libel lawsuit against the newspaper.

The newspaper reports (https://bit.ly/2en4fGK ) that a jury said Wednesday the money should go to Beth Desmond regarding a 2010 story about her work as a forensic firearms analyst for the agency. The newspaper had published statements from firearms experts questioning her analysis.

The jury earlier said the newspaper owed $1.5 million for Desmond’s suffering, humiliation, lost wages and medical expenses. State law limits punitive damages to three times the actual damages, meaning the newspaper owes Desmond a total of about $6 million.

The newspaper has defended its story and said it will appeal.

Desmond would not talk about the case after the verdict.

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