Man beaten during Unite the Right rally found not guilty
Harris was accused of assaulting person during the rally
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A judge found the man who was beaten during August's white nationalist rally in Charlottesville not guilty, according to NBC29.
DeAndre Harris, 21, was found not guilty Friday after being accused of assaulting a person participating in the Unite the Right rally on Aug. 12.
The Charlottesville NBC affiliate reports that Charlottesville General District Court Judge Robert Downer gave his ruling around 12:40 p.m. Friday. Harris was facing one misdemeanor count of assault.
The commonwealth argued Harris struck Harold Ray Crews on the back of the head with a flashlight. Jacob Goodwin, Tyler Davis, Daniel Borden and Alex Ramos allegedly attacked Harris inside the Market Street Parking Garage following the incident.
Defense attorney Rhonda Quaglianna argued Harris did not hit Crews and was aiming to strike a flag pole Crews was holding.
Harris allegedly believed Crews was using the pole as a weapon.
Harris testified in is own defense, saying he was attempting to break up an altercation between Crews and Corey Long, who was also arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct. Harris claims he was trying to break the flag pole with his flashlight.
Crews also took the witness stand and recounted the events from his point of view.
Downer made his ruling based on the fact that the commonwealth could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Harris intended to hit Crews.
"Deandre is a bright young man with a good future ahead," said Quaglianna.
Charlottesville police added extra security measures ahead of Friday's trial. More than 100 of Harris' supporters gathered inside and outside the courtroom. Activist groups such as Showing Up for Racial Justice and Black Lives Matter have repeatedly demanded charges be dropped against Harris, Long and other protesters.
After the judge's ruling, supporters for Harris marched and chanted along the Downtown Mall.
Harris still faces charges in Southampton for speeding, transporting a loaded rifle and possession of a concealed weapon, official say.
Long is scheduled to stand trial on April 17.
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