SC brother, sister awarded $4M in defamation suit

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina jury has awarded a brother and sister more than $4 million in a defamation lawsuit that began as a dispute between neighbors over pet turkeys.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports that the jury's decision came Friday after five days of testimony.

The case dates back to 2004 when Ralph Dupps accused Robert and Jennifer Klippel of taking turkeys from his Sea Pines home. The Klippels were arrested, but the charges were dismissed. The Klippels sued Dupps claiming their arrest caused public humiliation and emotional distress.

The Klippels admitted taking the turkeys to a wildlife preserve after a neighborhood security officer said Dupps had set the birds free. The Klippels contended the birds were a nuisance and should never have been pets.

Information from: The Island Packet,

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