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Defendants in Unite the Right case found guilty on four of six counts

rally goers
FILE - White nationalist demonstrators walk into the entrance of Lee Park surrounded by counter demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. A jury began deliberations Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, in a civil trial of white nationalists accused of conspiring to commit racially motivated violence at the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017.(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

After three days of deliberations, the jury returned mixed verdicts in a federal civil lawsuit brought against 20 white nationalist leaders and groups. They were accused of planning to commit racial violence during the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, which left one counterprotester and two police officers dead and many more injured.

The defendants were found to have broken Virginia’s civil conspiracy law, and are now liable for millions of dollars in punitive damages. But the jury failed to reach a consensus on two of the six charges, both dealing with the federal conspiracy law.

Roberta Kaplan, an attorney for the plaintiffs, asked Judge Norman K. Moon to file an “Allen charge,” a final request for jurors in the minority to reconsider their positions to reach consensus. But  Moon discharged the jury, satisfied that they would not be able to make a decision on those two counts.

The AP reports that the jury awarded over $25 million to the nine plaintiffs. An attorney for defendants requested that the plaintiffs damages be capped at $350,000, per Virginia law.

Patrick Larsen is VPM News' environment and energy reporter, and fill-in host.
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