Rapid City, SD
Jurors have reached a unanimous verdict in the alienation of affection trial involving Pennington County's State's Attorney Glenn Brenner.
It's what Glenn and Kellie Brenner have been saying all along. On Friday, the jury agreed that Glenn Brenner is not responsible for the end of Doug and Kellie Rumpca's marriage.
"The verdict was simply the jury answering the very first question, which was, did the plaintiff in this case prove his claim of alienation of affections against Mr. Brenner. And in this case, they answered unanimously 'no'," Brenner's attorney Daniel Duffy said.
Since the trial began on Monday, jurors have heard intimate details about Kellie Rumpca's love life and the dissolution of her first marriage. It's been a very public airing of dirty laundry that Duffy believes may cause people to rethink an old law.
"Cases like this will cause, I think, many people to step back and say, 'is this law really something that serves a strong public interest or not?' And I think if someone sat through this week and listened to what took place in this courtroom I think they'd have serious questions about whether or not this kind of law really serves the kind of interest that people thought it did," Duffy said.
In his closing argument, Duffy said he believes the lawsuit wasn't about alienation of affection, but rather a continuation of the Rumpca's divorce. Now that it's over, the attorney hopes that both families can move forward.
"What we're hoping is that the kids and their families on both sides can move on, and get on with their lives without any more damage than what's already been done," Duffy said.
Doug Rumpca was seeking nearly $300,000 in damages from Brenner, citing emotional trauma. He left the courthouse too quickly for us to do an interview.
Brenner, who was not re-elected to the State's Attorney's office, will leave the position in January.