The Latest: 3rd person avoids conviction in statue toppling
Feb. 19, 2018
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on trials of protesters accused of tearing down a Durham monument (all times local):
A North Carolina judge has found one protester not guilty of toppling a Confederate statue, and dismissed charges against two others.
Five more protesters accused of tearing down the monument in Durham last summer face trial at a later date.
Judge Fred Battaglia found Raul Jimenez not guilty on Monday of three misdemeanor counts including damaging a public monument and conspiracy. He then wrapped up the day's hearings.
Two other defendants had their cases dismissed by Battaglia after defense attorneys successfully argued that authorities hadn't properly identified them as taking part in tearing down the monument. It was pulled down days after deadly violence at a Charlottesville, Virginia, rally by white nationalists.
A North Carolina judge trying protesters accused of toppling a Confederate statue has dismissed the criminal case against one of them.
Dante Strobino was tried Monday on charges including defacing public property and conspiracy in the August 2017 toppling of the monument outside a Durham government building. Seven others are expected to be tried individually after Strobino.
After testimony from investigators and other witnesses, the defense moved to dismiss the case. Durham County District Court Judge Fred Battaglia then ruled prosecutors had failed to identify Strobino as a perpetrator and hadn't shown there was a conspiracy. The cases are being heard before Judge Battaglia without a jury.
The Durham Confederate statue was pulled down in the days after a deadly violence at a Charlottesville, Virginia, rally started by white nationalists.