Man who punched Unite the Right organizer fined $1 by jury

Anna Moneymaker

A Charlottesville, Va., jury fined Jeffrey Winder $1 for punching Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler, well below the maximum penalty associated with misdemeanor assault: one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

“They clearly thought about it very sincerely,” Winder’s attorney, James Abrenio, who worked the case pro bono, told NPR regarding the jury.

He added that the prosecutor and judge “were all kind.”

{mosads}Winder was originally found guilty in February and given a penalty that included a 30-day jail sentence, NPR reports. Winder appealed the decision and was again found guilty, but only charged the minimal fine.

Winder punched Kessler one day after the death of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a car drove into a crowd of counterprotesters during the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last year.

Kessler was attempting to speak to reporters and retreated when a crowd continued to shout him down. As he attempted to leave, Winder punched him in the face.

A local news station NBC 29 caught the moment in action and identified Winder as the man who punched Kessler.

“[Kessler] had an incredible amount of nerve coming in front of the people of Charlottesville after the pain, suffering, and terror that he brought on the community. He should never be allowed to show his face in town again,” Winder told NBC 29.

Kessler testified at Winder’s trial that he had not been physically injured but nonetheless felt an emotional weight, according to NPR.

Winder can still appeal his guilty verdict, NPR reports. Abrenio said he will discuss the possibility with his client, criticizing Virginia’s assault and battery laws.

Winder is one of several accused of assault or similar crimes around the time the rally occurred and has been handed the highest penalty out of those accused, according to the news agency.

Tags Charlottesville James Abrenio JasonKessler Jeffrey Winder Nationalism Unite the Right White supremacy
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