CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – A Virginia judge has dismissed two of the three felony counts against a prominent white nationalist charged after a torch-lit rally at the University of Virginia.
Christopher Cantwell of Keene, New Hampshire, is accused of pepper-spraying a counterprotester during an Aug. 11 Charlottesville protest, a day before the much larger white nationalist rally. Cantwell says he acted in self-defense.
Local media outlets report that an Albemarle County judge on Thursday dismissed one count of malicious bodily injury with a “caustic substance,” explosive or fire, concluding there was a lack of evidence that the counterprotester had been injured.
But the judge declined to dismiss one of the two counts of the illegal use of gases. The judge said Cantwell had no reasonable claim for self-defense and clearly hated the counterprotesters.