2 Out Of 3 Charges Dropped Against Christopher Cantwell After Accuser Changes StoryChris Menahan
Nov. 09, 2017
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Libertarian turned white nationalist Christopher Cantwell was facing potentially 60 years in prison for allegedly pepper-spraying two antifa members at the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally earlier this year.
After being denied bail and held for over three months in prison, Cantwell finally had a preliminary hearing on Thursday. Two out of three charges against him were dropped after one of his accusers was found to have changed his story.
From CBS 19 NEWS:
Christopher Cantwell was initially charged with illegal use of a gas, illegal use of a gas with malice, and unlawful injury by means of a toxic substance.
[...]Cantwell's second accuser, Emily Gorcenski, testified that she was pepper sprayed on August 11, and figured out Cantwell was to blame from photos and videos posted online after the incident showing Cantwell releasing pepper spray.
Woodard noted that Gorcenski had already tracked Cantwell down at Walmart earlier in the day, and he described her as "an antifa operative who stalked my client," an accusation Gorcenski denied.NBC 29 has more:
The judge is allowing a charge of releasing a caustic agent to be taken up by a grand jury.Here's the charges for "releasing a caustic agent" from Virginia code § 18.2-52.:
Malicious bodily injury by means of any caustic substance or agent or use of any explosive or fire.Cantwell said in an interview from jail after the trial that the remaining charge is a Class 3 felony:
(c) For Class 3 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than 20 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.Cantwell is arguing he used the pepper-spray in self-defense. Cantwell said he pepper-sprayed the man in the beanie below after the man charged at him:
That man is not one of his accusers.
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