By Associated Press - Tuesday, October 31, 2017

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Virginia judge has dismissed charges against nine counterprotesters arrested during a Ku Klux Klan rally in Charlottesville.

About 50 members of the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights were met by more than 1,000 protesters when they came to Charlottesville on July 8 to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

A month later, white nationalists returned and violence erupted. One counterprotester was killed and two state troopers died when their helicopter crashed.

The defendants who appeared in court Monday were charged during the first protest with obstructing free passage and failing to heed police commands to disperse. Two others pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and were ordered to perform 40 hours of community service. Three other cases were continued.

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