A Charlottesville judge gave two men jail time Monday after they were convicted for removing shrouds on the city’s Confederate statues multiple times before the city decided to remove them in February.
Judge Joseph Serkes gave Charlottesville resident Brian Roland Lambert and Richmond resident Christopher James Wayne eight months and five months in jail, respectively, after removing tarps on Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson statues, reported The Daily Progress.
“We are in an age where someone takes action into their own hands and then everyone becomes a copycat,” Serkes said during his rendering of the decision. “That doesn’t work in a system of the law.”
Serkes found Lambert guilty of misdemeanor destruction of property totaling below $1,000 and trespassing during November and January incidents. The judge also found the Charlottesville resident guilty of public intoxication during the January incident. Serkes found Wayne guilty of trespassing on two February dates, as well as destruction of property totaling below $1,000 on one of the occasions.
The city covered the two statues with tarps to memorialize Heather Heyer, a counter-protester who died during the August Unite the Right rally. Charlottesville judge Richard E. Moore ordered them removed in February. (RELATED: Judge: Charlottesville Must Take Shrouds Off Confederate Statues)
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“I am appalled at the way people uphold justice and law here,” Wayne said in court. He said that he was protecting the statues as war memorials for fellow veterans.
“We will take our punishment like men, unlike other people in this town that ask to drop charges and won’t accept responsibility for their actions,” Lambert said.
Charlottesville’s case to determine whether or not to remove its Jackson and Lee statues will begin on April 11.
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