The family of a Lake Crystal man murdered by his wife has won a partial victory in the civil suit against the killer. Jennifer Nibbe pleaded guilty in June of 2012 to killing her husband James at the couple’s home in Lake Crystal in 2010, and she was sentenced to 17 years in prison. James Nibbe’s family has since filed a Wrongful Death lawsuit against her, and in court on Friday a judge granted a partial summary judgment, ruling that the evidence overwhelmingly shows that Jennifer Nibbe was liable in James’ death. With that ruling, the focus of the civil trial will now shift to whether the family can prove damages. The judge granted a motion allowing them to sue for punitive damages in addition to general damages. The November 13th trial in the Wrongful Death case will be rescheduled as well.
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