DA Drops All Charges Against Confederate Statue Topplers

Feb 20, 2018

File photo of a confederate monument destroyed in Durham. The DA dropped charges Tuesday against the people accused of toppling the statue.
Credit Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The case of the Durham Eight has reached an end.


Durham District Attorney Roger Echols announced Tuesday afternoon he was dropping all charges against the five remaining defendants standing trial for toppling a confederate monument last August.

The trial began Monday with Durham County Judge Frederick S. Battaglia Jr. dismissing the case against the first two defendants and finding a third not guilty.


Battaglia concluded prosecutors presented insufficient evidence since they couldn’t prove the defendants were the same people filmed tearing down the confederate statue.


“For my office to continue to take these cases to trial based on the same evidence would be a misuse of state resources,” Echols said. “For that reason I will dismiss the remaining charges against the remaining defendants.”  


He added that acts of vandalism, regardless of noble intent, are still a violation of the law.


Prosecutors also dropped charges against another person who had previously accepted a plea deal.


The defendants had faced misdemeanor charges including conspiracy and destruction of public property.