- Associated Press - Friday, July 21, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The attorney for one of three counter-protesters facing rioting charges from last year’s California state Capitol melee says her client was exercising his constitutional rights.

Michael Williams appeared briefly in Sacramento County Superior Court Friday on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and participating in a riot. The 56-year-old from Yolo County is due back in court Monday for a bail hearing.

Defense attorney Linda Parisi says her client was exercising his right to protest an appearance by white nationalist groups. She’s exploring whether he was defending himself at the time.

More than a dozen people were injured in the resulting clash between about 30 white nationalists and more than 300 counter-protesters, with several stabbed.

One white nationalist was charged along with the three counter-protesters.

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