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Keene's 'crying Nazi' barred from Virginia after guilty plea

The Washington Post
July 21. 2018 11:59PM
White nationalist Chris Cantwell last year in Charlottesville, Va. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post/File photo)

A self-professed white nationalist involved in violence at last year's rally in Charlottesville, Va., pleaded guilty to assault and battery Friday, prosecutors said.

Christopher Cantwell of Keene was arrested after August's "Unite the Right" rally. Cantwell, who was featured in a Vice news documentary about the demonstrations, became known as the "crying Nazi" after posting an emotional video when a warrant was issued for his arrest.

On Friday, he pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and battery stemming from his dispersal of pepper spray near the University of Virginia rotunda on Aug. 11, the Albemarle Commonwealth's Attorney's Office said in a statement.

The 37-year-old was sentenced to two concurrent terms of 12 months, with all but seven months suspended, freeing him from detention. However, he was required to leave Virginia within eight hours and not return for five years.

He was also fined $250 after pleading guilty to violating the terms of his bond by discussing his victims on social media, according to the statement.

"This outcome brings a measure of finality to the defendant's dispersal of pepper spray nearly a year ago," Albemarle Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Tracci said in a statement. "This agreement was supported by the victims in this case, who have been consulted at each stage of the criminal process."

Elmer Woodard, Cantwell's attorney, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Several confrontations broke out at the rally and a counterprotester was killed when a car drove into a crowd, while two state police officers monitoring the protests also died when their helicopter crashed.

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