Top public defender elected judge after protest arrest

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — A Virginia public defender who had been accused of vandalizing a Confederate monument is now a Circuit Court judge.

Portsmouth’s chief public defender Brenda Spry was appointed the position Tuesday after receiving 33 votes in the Senate and 51 votes in the House of Delegates.

A lone Republican “yes” vote in the House secured the win for Spry.

Spry has been a public defender in the city for three decades, leading the department for 13 years.

Charges were dropped in November against Spry and 18 others after a Confederate statue was vandalized.

Her eight-year judgeship begins next month.

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