Charlottesville Court Takes Up Cases in Connection to Jason Kessler
Five criminal cases stemming from controversial events downtown last month took center stage in Charlottesville General District Court Friday morning.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Five criminal cases stemming from controversial events downtown last month took center stage in Charlottesville General District Court Friday morning.
“It’s a shame that this court system is being tied up with all of these petty offenses when the major issues have yet to be resolved at all,” said defense attorney Jeffrey E. Fogel.
Friday, September 22, Troy Dunigan of Chattanooga, Tennessee pleaded guilty a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.
“Pretty much what happened is I walked up to the protests over there at the park and saw the Nazis marching through and got frustrated and threw an empty water bottle at one of them, and then was arrested for it,” Dunigan said outside of court Friday.
Dunigan was given a 30-day suspended sentence.
“Nazis are evil and they shouldn’t be allowed to march through the streets preaching hate. It’s unacceptable, and I don’t see anything wrong with trying to stop them in any way possible,” he said.
David Matt Parrot was tried in absence Friday. A witness testified that Parrot was shouting "we will not be replaced" at the rally. The judge found Parrot guilty of failing to disperse after an unlawful assembly was declared
Edgar Brandon Collins, who is accused of misdemeanor assault and battery for striking Kessler at a press conference, will be in court for a trial on November 17.
“There’s a wide range of guilt in assault and battery. It can come from something as simple as a slight push, or it can go as far as knocking somebody out,” Fogel explained.
Collins is being represented by Fogel, who believes Kessler should be the person appearing in court: “We know that Jason Kessler is responsible for having brought Nazis, Ku Klux Klanners, and he knew how dangerous they were. He knew how many people were bringing guns and weapons to our town, and nothing is happening to him. And yet the person who allegedly pushes him is brought to court,” Fogel said.
The attorney also said, “Brandon has already expressed his regret for having gotten excited at that press conference, but I do think that there are a lot of people in our community who understand that the emotional condition that many people were in on August 12th and August 13th.”
Robert Kenneth Litzenberger, the man who allegedly spat at Kessler, will also be back in court on November 17 for a bench trial. He is charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, as well.
James O'Brien is still working on obtaining a lawyer, and is scheduled for a bench trial on November 20. The Florida man is charged with carrying a concealed handgun.