Judge Dismisses Riot Charges Against Inauguration Day Protesters

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

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Nick Givas Media And Politics Reporter
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A D.C. Superior Court judge dismissed charges of inciting a riot against Inauguration Day protesters Wednesday, and said there was insufficient evidence against the six suspects to sustain the allegation.

Judge Lynn Leibovitz heard arguments over the past three weeks and determined the prosecution couldn’t prove the defendants intended to incite a riot, The Washington Post reports. The charge could have resulted in up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

More than 150 people were arrested on Inauguration Day for various alleged acts of vandalism that included smashing windows with bricks and crowbars, but the state argued the blame for the riots rested with these six individuals, WaPo reported.

“None of them engaged in conduct that amounted to urging other persons to destroy property,” Leibovitz said.

The defendants are still facing five felony charges for destruction of property and two misdemeanor charges of engaging in a riot. The felony charges could result in up to 10 years in prison, while the misdemeanor charges carry a sentence of 180 days in jail for each count, according to WaPo.

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Nick Givas