White supremacist pleads guilty in Charlottesville pepper spray case

WASHINGTON — A white supremacist who was facing trial on charges he blasted opponents with pepper spray during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer has reached a plea deal.

Christopher Cantwell, 37, of New Hampshire, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault and battery. As part of the deal, Cantwell will not serve any more jail time, but he must stay out of Virginia for five years, The Daily Progress reports.

Cantwell used the pepper spray during a torch-lit rally on the University of Virginia campus on Aug. 11, 2017.

Another white nationalist, 21-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio, is charged with driving a car into a crowd in Charlottesville the following day, killing 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer.

Earlier this month, Fields pleaded not guilty to 30 federal crimes.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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