Charges tossed for man who opposed court’s Confederate image

LOUISA, Va. (AP) — A Virginia judge has overturned a capital murder charge in a case that drew attention when the Black defendant’s lawyers argued for the removal of a large portrait of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the courtroom.

News outlets report a Louisa County judge on Thursday tossed out the capital murder charge against Darcel Nathaniel Murphy.

He was accused of involvement in the 2016 slaying and robbery of a 43-year-old man.

Murphy’s attorney said the judge accepted a defense motion to strike the evidence as insufficient.

The same judge ordered the painting of Lee to be taken down in September, ruling it was “unwelcoming” to Black people in the courtroom.

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