Durham DA: All charges dismissed in Confederate monument destruction

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham County District Attorney Roger Echols said all charges against the remaining defendants in the toppling of a Confederate monument in Durham have been dismissed.

Echols said a judge found a defendant not guilty on Monday after the district’s attorney presented its evidence.

Following that ruling, Echols decided to dismiss the charges against the remaining defendants.

“For my office to continue to to take these cases to trial based on the same evidence would be a misuse of state resources,” Echols said.

Dante Strobino and Peter Gilbert were tried Monday on charges including defacing public property and conspiracy in the August 2017 toppling of the monument outside a Durham government building.

After testimony from investigators and other witnesses, the defense moved to dismiss the case. Durham County District Court Judge Fred Battaglia then ruled prosecutors had failed to identify Strobino as a perpetrator and hadn’t shown there was a conspiracy. The cases are being heard before Judge Battaglia without a jury.

Judge Fred Battaglia found Raul Jimenez not guilty on Monday of three misdemeanor counts including damaging a public monument and conspiracy. He then wrapped up the day’s hearings.

Five more defendants were scheduled to be tried.

The dismissals include those had previously entered plea agreements, Echols said.

“While the outcome here may not rest well with all, it is my great hope that this continues the conversation that addresses how we make Durham a community for everyone,” Echols said.

The Durham Confederate statue was pulled down in the days after a deadly violence at a Charlottesville, Virginia, rally started by white nationalists.



...[READ MORE]   Source: WNCN Durham County News