Posted on April 18, 2023

Grand Jury Indicts Torch-Wielding Marchers From 2017 Incident in Charlottesville

Hawes Spencer, Daily Progress, April 17, 2023

Nearly six years after marching across the Grounds of the University of Virginia carrying flaming torches and shouting phrases including “Blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us,” some of those marchers appear to have been hit with felony indictments for violating Virginia law against burning to intimidate.

“These indictments were issued as part of a criminal investigation that is active and ongoing,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Hingeley said in a statement announcing the actions by an Albemarle County grand jury, which has jurisdiction over UVa’s Central Grounds.


“I cannot release sealed indictments until I’ve gotten confirmation that the people have been served,” Zug told The Daily Progress. {snip}


Then-Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci asserted that Virginia’s law banning burning as intimidation — written to prevent the Ku Klux Klan from burning crosses to terrorize Black people — asserted that he couldn’t prosecute because the law asserts that an “object” must be burned.


Virginia has no statute of limitations on felony charges. Conviction under the Virginia Code is rated as Class 6 felony and can bring a penalty up to five years in jail.