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Man found not guilty of assaulting NC lawyer

A black man who was severely beaten on the day of a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and then charged with misdemeanor assault in the same incident was found not guilty March 16.

A Charlottesville judge acquitted 20-year-old DeAndre Harris, saying it was clear Harris didn’t intend to harm Harold Crews, the purported victim who made the complaint.

Crews, an attorney from Walkertown, is the North Carolina chairman of the League of the South, which advocates for Southern states to again secede from the union. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated it as a hate group.

Crews is a solo practitioner with an office in Kernersville who has been licensed since 1999. A voicemail message left for Crews on his work number was not returned. Crews said in his recorded message that he primarily practices debt collection.

Harris testified that he thought Crews was attacking a friend of his with a flagpole and went over to defend him. Then he said someone sprayed him with mace and “everything was a blur after that,” according to The Daily Progress, a newspaper in Charlottesville.

Photos and videos of the Aug. 12 attack on Harris were widely shared online. Harris was left with serious injuries.

“I don’t see that Mr. Harris did anything wrong that day,” Judge Robert Downer said, according to the newspaper’s reports. “It’s all on tape for me to see.”

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