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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Soros-Backed Prosecutors’ Case Collapses against C’Ville Torch Marcher

'It wasn't even close for the prosecution. It was actually close in the other direction...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) A Virginia judge has declared a mistrial after Charlottesville jurors deadlocked on charges against a man charged with a little-used law that makes it a crime to burn objects with intent to intimidate.

The trial for Jacob Joseph Dix of Clarksville, Ohio, was the first test of a law enacted by the state in 2002 in response to Ku Klux Klan cross-burnings. The law was challenged all the way to the Supreme Court, which ultimately found the law constitutional in a 6-3 vote in 2009.

Dix’s lawyer, Peter Frazier, argued in the trial that his client did the night of Aug. 11, 2017, was criminal, and that the chants he joined in, including, “You will not replace us!” were free speech protected by the First Amendment.

Most jurors agreed.

After deliberating for about 12 hours over two days, jurors in Albemarle County Circuit Court announced Thursday that they were deadlocked. According to Jason Kessler, who organized the 2017 rally, eight jurors voted not guilty, three voted guilty and one voted undecided.

Judge H. Thomas Padrick declared a mistrial Thursday evening.

“It wasn’t even close for the prosecution. It was actually close in the other direction,” Kessler said.

Indictments unsealed last year showed 11 people had been charged with intimidation by fire, but prosecutors have not said whether additional defendants were also charged. Five people have pleaded guilty to the charge. Dix was the first to go on trial.

Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor, who was appointed as a special prosecutor, said she intends to try the case again and will see if there is any other evidence to pursue. Taylor took over the case after Judge H. Thomas Padrick Jr. reportedly said that the entire Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has an “appearance” of conflict of interest, and therefore can’t prosecute its case against Dix.

According to The Daily Progress, the main prosecutor of the torch marchers, W. Lawton Tufts, was found to have a relationship with groups such as Black Lives Matter and Showing Up for Racial Justice. Tufts reportedly has offered to research legal issues for people and groups that opposed Unite the Right.

Charlottesville D.A Jim Hingeley made it a campaign promise in 2019 to prosecute torch-carriers. His predecessor, Robert Tracci, had declined to press charges.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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