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White nationalist pleads guilty to charges from torch-lit UVA march

Published: Jul. 20, 2018 at 5:01 PM EDT
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Christopher Cantwell has pleaded guilty to two counts stemming from a torch-lit rally in Charlottesville last year.

On Aug. 11, 2017, Cantwell was one of a large group of people who marched on the University of Virginia Grounds while carrying torches and chanting the day before a white nationalist rally that turned deadly when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer.

On the 17th, a group of white nationalists reached the statue of Thomas Jefferson in front of the UVA Rotunda, where students and staff met them.

Cantweel was accused of using pepper spray on someone, which was a felony.

He was charged with illegal use of the gas. He was granted the ability to post bail in December, and was released with an electronic monitor and a requirement to stay in Virginia until his trial.

But after naming a victim online and on a radio show, prosecutors argued earlier this week for the court to revoke his bail.

In court on Friday, Cantwell pleaded to two amended counts of assault and battery in the case.

He will not spend any more time in jail. The judge sentenced Cantwell to five months, but since he served more than 100 days in jail, he will not spend any more time behind bars.

However, Cantwell is prohibited from returning to Virginia for five years and must leave the Commonwealth within eight hours.

He was also fined $250 for violating bond.

His trial had been scheduled for August 13, the day after the one-year anniversary of the "Unite the Right" rally, when Jason Kessler plans to hold another rally in Washington, D.C.