General Lee portrait will come down from Louisa courtroom

The exterior of the Louisa County Courthouse.
The exterior of the Louisa County Courthouse.(WVIR)
Updated: Sep. 11, 2020 at 3:12 PM EDT
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LOUISA, Va. (WVIR) - A portrait of a Confederate general that has been hanging in a central Virginia courtroom for more than a century has been ordered by a judge to be removed.

In a recent decision, Judge Sanner reversed his previous ruling and ordered the life-size portrait of General Robert E. Lee to be removed from the Louisa Circuit Courtroom. The judge also ordered that an accompanying United Daughters of the Confederacy plaque that was displayed in the courtroom to also be removed.

In his decision Judge Sanner noted recent events that have transpired since the court last addressed the issue back in 2019, including the abolishing of the Lee-Jackson Holiday and an amendment by the General Assembly that gives localities control over the disposition of war memorials.

A statement from the attorneys for Darcel Murphy, who brought the issue before the court, said that they were extremely pleased with the decision and that the portrait was originally chosen to intimidate Black citizens.

The judge ordered the portrait and the accompanying plaque to be removed before the close of business Wednesday, September 23. Murphy, who is African-American, is accused of the March 2016 murder of Kevin Robinson. His trial is scheduled to begin September 28.

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