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Man Pleads in Charlottesville Slave Auction Marker Case

man speaking with mask on
Allan, right, outside the courthouse. (Photo: Hawes Spencer/VPM News)

On the same day that Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue, a white Charlottesville man has resolved criminal charges levied against him in February for stealing a plaque commemorating the location of a market where enslaved people were sold.

The 75-year-old man, Richard H. Allan III, was charged with grand larceny, a felony, and possession of "burglarious" tools. He pleaded guilty to property destruction, a lesser misdemeanor charge, and was sentenced to 25 hours community service.

Allan says he was offended by the placement of the slave auction marker, embedded underfoot in a sidewalk, so he pried it out. "I felt it was offensive to a significant section of our community," Allan said.

Allan has returned the plaque, but it has not been reinstalled, since the city's historic resources committee is expected to recommend the creation of what Allan wants: A more substantial marker.

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