Man convicted of punching a white nationalist organizer in Charlottesville; asked to pay $1 fine
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A man convicted of punching a white nationalist organizer a day after the 2017 “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville has been ordered to pay a $1 fine for the offense, CNN affiliate WVIR reported.
Jeffrey Winder was accused of assault and battery last year after he punched the rally’s organizer during a news conference.
Two members of the crowd approached him and quickly a crowd of photographers rushed to record the confrontation. Within seconds, a man in a red plaid shirt punched Kessler in the back of the head as police tried to escort him away from the crowd.
“He (Kessler) had an incredible amount of nerve coming in front of the people of Charlottesville after the pain, suffering, and terror that he brought on the community. He should never be allowed to show his face in town again,” Winder told WVIR after the news conference but he did not comment directly on the assault.
Winder was found guilty of the misdemeanor charges in February. He was initially given a 30-day sentence but he appealed the judge’s decision, WVIR reported.
On Tuesday, a jury heard Winder’s case and handed down a guilty verdict.
Winder was facing up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Instead, the jury recommended a $1 fine and no jail time.
Winder’s attorney, James Abrenio, declined to comment about Tuesday’s verdict on behalf of his client. However, he told WVIR that Kessler had brought the violence to himself by holding a press conference a day after Heather Heyer’s death.
“The circumstance of this case is obviously not something that I don’t think has ever been seen before: We have a guy [Kessler] who is going out of his way to take, make profit off tragedy, and that’s really what this is about,” said Abrenio outside of court.
Winder was among several people who were arrested following the incident. Another man, Edgar Brandon Collins, 44, was charged with assault and battery. It’s unclear whether he was convicted of the offenses.