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Kessler Requesting Case to be Moved Out of Albemarle Circuit Court

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

The 34-year-old organizer of a controversial rally in downtown Charlottesville is asking for his unrelated case to be heard in a different court.

Jason Eric Kessler appeared in Albemarle Circuit Court Wednesday, December 27, for a status hearing. He is facing a felony count of perjury.

The Unite the Right rally organizer was indicted by an Albemarle County grand jury back in October. Kessler allegedly lied on a criminal complaint he had filed with the magistrate at the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail on January 23, 2017. Kessler claimed James Justin Taylor had assaulted him on the Downtown Mall.

The prosecution said the incident was caught on camera, and that "the events described by the complaining witness [Kessler] in his criminal complaint did not happen."

Defense attorney Mike Hallahan requested Wednesday for his client to be tried at a different court, citing the "negative attention" Kessler has received. Hallahan believes an unbiased jury could be more easily found in a different county that has not seen as much news coverage on Kessler.

The judge is expected to take up that motion on January 19, 2018.

Kessler entered a guilty plea on a misdemeanor charge of assault on April 6, 2017.

A jury trial for the perjury charge is scheduled to get underway March 20, 2018.