Charlottesville

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Officials in Charlottesville, Virginia, have voted to divest the city's operating budget investments from any entity involved in the production of fossil fuels or weapons.

WVIR-TV reports the City Council voted 4-1 last week to complete those divestments within the next 30 days.

Supporters of divestment argued that weapons and fossil fuels do not align with the city's strategic plan goals, including being responsible stewards of natural resources.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Virginia judge has ordered state police to release a redacted copy of their operational plans for the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

The Daily Progress reports Judge Richard Moore on Wednesday gave police 30 days to comply with his order. The order is the most recent development in a 2017 lawsuit by reporters Natalie Jacobsen and Jackson Landers for access to the plans for the "Unite the Right" rally. The rally left three people dead.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Virginia judge has ruled that Charlottesville's Confederate statues are war monuments protected by state law.

Judge Richard Moore's ruling came in a lawsuit filed against Charlottesville City Council members who voted in 2017 to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Moore cited how statues of Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson depict the men in military uniforms and on horses associated with them during the Civil War. Virginia law makes it illegal for local municipalities to remove war monuments.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A member of a white supremacist group has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to riot at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.

Thomas Walter Gillen is one of four California men prosecutors identified as members of the Rise Above Movement, a militant white supremacist group that trains in fighting techniques.

Gillen entered his guilty plea on Monday. Another member, Cole Evan White, pleaded guilty to the same charge in November.

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(AP) A man convicted on state murder charges in a deadly car attack at a white nationalist rally in Virginia has pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges.

James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, pleaded guilty Wednesday to 29 federal charges stemming from the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A man convicted in a deadly car attack on a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia is expected to change his plea to federal hate crime charges.

James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, was convicted in state court in December in the death of anti-racism activist Heather Heyer and for injuring dozens more.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Prosecutors say two men indicted on federal riot charges in the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville are not protected by the First Amendment.

The Daily Progress reports that U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen made the argument in response to a motion to dismiss the indictment from lawyers for Benjamin Drake Daley and Michael Paul Miselis.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia state government is holding a public hearing on a plan to enact permanent rules for rallies at a massive statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Richmond's historic Monument Avenue.

The Department of General Services announced Wednesday the hearing is set for March 6 at the Virginia War Memorial Carillion.

The state is seeking to replace emergency regulations with permanent rules that cut the maximum crowd size from 5,000 to 500 and ban weapons at permitted events.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Florida man charged for his role in the beating of a black man during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, has entered an Alford plea.

The Daily Progress reports 50-year-old Tyler Watkins Davis acknowledged prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him of malicious wounding without admitting guilt Friday. Davis was one of four charged in the Aug. 12, 2017, beating of DeAndre Harris.

Prosecutor Nina-Alice Antony said video shows Davis striking Harris in the head with a tire thumper, which resembles a club.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - An Ohio man has been sentenced to just under four years in prison for his role in the beating of a black man the day of a white nationalist rally in Virginia.

Daniel Borden was sentenced Monday to 20 years, but most of that sentence was suspended. His active sentence amounts to three years and 10 months.

Borden, of Huber Heights, Ohio, was one of four men charged in the Aug. 12, 2017, beating of DeAndre Harris in Charlottesville.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A lawsuit seeking to stop the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Charlottesville, Virginia, will now also cover the statue of another Confederate general, Stonewall Jackson.

The Daily Progress reported Friday that Judge Richard E. Moore approved the motion to amend the lawsuit more than a year after it was filed in October 2017. Moore also approved an amendment that seeks to hold individual city councilmembers liable for shrouding the statues.

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(AP) Jurors have told a judge they need more time to come up with a sentencing recommendation for a man who killed a woman and injured dozens when he drove his car into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia last year.

The jury that convicted James Alex Fields Jr. of first-degree murder and other charges deliberated on his sentence for just under two hours Monday. Jurors then told Judge Richard Moore they would like to go home for the day and resume deliberations Tuesday morning.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The same jury that convicted a man of first-degree murder for driving his car into counterprotesters at a 2017 white nationalist rally will now decide his punishment.

The jury in the trial of James Alex Fields Jr. will reconvene Monday to hear additional evidence and come up with a sentencing recommendation for Judge Richard Moore on murder and other charges. 

Fields was convicted Friday in the death of Heather Heyer during the "Unite the Right" rally organized to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederal Gen. Robert E. Lee.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A jury is set to begin deliberating in the murder trial of an Ohio man accused of intentionally driving his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally, killing one woman and injuring dozens.

A prosecutor told jurors in closing arguments Thursday that 21-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. had hate and violence on his mind when he plunged the car into the crowd. Defense attorneys argued Fields had plowed into the crowd out of fear.

Jurors are scheduled to get the case Friday morning.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Virginia sheriff's deputy has told jurors that a man who drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally said, "I'm so sorry" after he was apprehended.

Charlottesville Deputy Sheriff Paul Critzer was called by the defense as attorneys for James Alex Fields Jr. began presenting their case Tuesday.

Critzer said he chased and arrested Fields after recognizing his Dodge Challenger as a car implicated in a hit-and-run of a pedestrian in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Jurors in the trial of a man who drove into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia heard from people in the crowd and a first-responder.

News outlets report that Marissa Martin testified Monday at the trial of James Alex Fields Jr. about joining a group of "happy people" marching in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017. She described the scene turning to "complete chaos" as people were knocked to the ground.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A man whose image was captured in a dramatic photo as he was struck by a car during a white nationalist rally in Virginia has given emotional testimony at the trial of the man accused of deliberately plowing into the crowd.

Marcus Martin became tearful several times while testifying Thursday during the murder trial of James Alex Fields Jr. Fields is charged with killing a woman and injuring dozens of counterprotesters at a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Jury selection in the trial of an Ohio man accused of killing a woman during a white nationalist rally in Virginia has gotten off to a slow start.

James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, is charged with murder in the 2017 death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Fields is accused of driving his car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalists, killing Heyer and injuring dozens more.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Jury selection is set to begin in the trial of an Ohio man accused of killing a woman during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last year.

James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Fields is accused of driving his car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalists. Heyer was killed and dozens of others were injured.

Fields' trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Charlottesville Circuit Court.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says he will propose legislation aimed at preventing hate crimes and white-supremacist violence.

Herring's announcement on Thursday comes in response to an increase in hate crimes in Virginia and around the country, notably a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in August 2017.

This will be Herring's third consecutive proposal of such legislation. Two previous attempts have failed to win approval from Virginia's General Assembly.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Two dozen white nationalists accused of violating civil rights laws during a deadly 2017 rally in Virginia have been ordered to turn over their electronic devices so the contents can be used as evidence at their trial.

On Tuesday, a magistrate judge granted a request by lawyers for people hurt when a car plowed into a group of counterprotesters, killing a woman.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Attorneys for InfoWars founder Alex Jones want a judge to dismiss a defamation suit filed by a counterprotester at last year's deadly white nationalist rally in Virginia.

Former State Department official Brennan Gilmore was harassed after posting a video showing the car attack that killed counterprotester Heather Heyer after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. His attorney, Briana Gorod, says witnessing a moment in history doesn't make him a public figure.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Four California men described as "serial rioters" are facing federal charges after prosecutors say they flew across the country for a white nationalist rally in Virginia last year and violently attacked counter protesters. 

Federal agents arrested the men Tuesday. Prosecutors identified them as members of the Rise Above Movement, a militant white supremacist group they said espouses anti-Semitic and other racist views and meets regularly to train in boxing and other fighting techniques.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Charlottesville says it spent more than $921,000 on public safety work related to the one-year anniversary of the deadly white nationalist rally.

The city released a cost estimate Thursday and said it filed a notice with the state earlier this month indicating that it's interested in applying for emergency relief.

Officials say more than 375 city employees were involved in public safety operations and the city spent $600,000 more this year than last, in part, because they anticipated a full weekend of activities.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Three men found guilty of failure to disperse following a white nationalist rally in 2017 have withdrawn their appeals.

Citing court records, The Daily Progress of Charlottesville reports Nathan Damigo, Evan McLaren and JonPaul Struys have withdrawn their appeals in recent weeks. Damigo is a former Marine and is the founder of a white nationalist group, Identity Evropa. The three had been found guilty of failing to leave what is now Market Street Park following the declaration of an unlawful assembly.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A documentary about a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year will premiere at the Virginia Film Festival in November.

Martin Luther King III - the oldest son of the late civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. - is among the scheduled speakers after the documentary's national premiere.

"Charlottesville" is produced and presented by the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, along with Community Idea Stations.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Two men have received multi-year prison sentences for the beating of a black man who was left severely injured the day of a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Daily Progress reports that Alex Ramos of Georgia was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday, while Jacob Goodwin of Arkansas was sentenced to eight years.

Both were convicted of malicious wounding in the August 2017 beating of DeAndre Harris.

The attack in a parking garage by a group of men was captured in photos and videos widely shared online.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the city of Charlottesville have proactively declared a state of emergency ahead of the one-year anniversary of a violent white nationalist rally in Virginia that left a woman dead and dozens of others injured.

Officials said Wednesday the declaration would streamline state and local operations this weekend while also allocating $2 million in state funds. The declaration authorizes the Virginia National Guard to assist in security efforts.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Richmond's famed Monument Avenue has been vandalized.

Red paint was splattered on the statue's base. The letters BLM, an apparent reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, was also sprayed on the base.

Virginia Capitol Police, which is responsible for policing the monuments, told news outlets the vandalism occurred late Friday or early Saturday between patrols.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - An organizer of last summer's deadly white nationalist rally in Virginia has withdrawn his request for a court order allowing him to stage an event marking its anniversary.

Jason Kessler's change of plans was announced during a brief hearing Tuesday.

Kessler had requested a preliminary injunction that would compel the city of Charlottesville to issue him a rally permit for next month. He sued in March, claiming the city's refusal to grant him a permit tramples on his free speech rights under the First Amendment.

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