Federal judge issues thousands of dollars in penalties for 'Unite the Right' rally participants

Published: May. 27, 2020 at 1:14 PM EDT
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A federal judge is handing down thousands of dollars in penalties on some people and groups that took part in the deadly ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville in 2017, because they are still not cooperating with evidence discovery in a civil lawsuit.

Vanguard America, Elliott Kline, and Matthew Heimbach must now pay a combined $41,300 in attorney fees to the plaintiffs' legal team for disobeying court orders. Kline will pay $12,528.33, Heimbach will pay $12,528.33, and Vanguard America will pay $16,243.33.

The judge’s opinion handed down Tuesday, May 26, in the Sines V. Kessler case said the defendants consistently ignore orders from the court to provide evidence connected to their involvement in the rally that devolved into violence and ended with the murder of Heather Heyer by a white nationalist who plowed a car into a crowd of counter-protesters.

Victims of violence, which broke out during the white supremacist march on University of Virginia grounds on August 11th, the day before the rally, and around a downtown Charlottesville park on the day of the rally, filed the suit against those they say coordinated to cause chaos and violence. It was the first federal civil lawsuit filed following the 2017 events and accuses the defendants of conspiracy and negligence.

Trial is scheduled for October 2020, more than three years after the August 2017 event.