Baltimore KKK Leader Pleads No Contest To Firing Gun At Charlottesville Rally

A member of the Ku Klux Klan looks on during a rally, calling for the protection of Southern Confederate monuments, in Charlottesville, Virginia on July 8, 2017. The afternoon rally in this quiet university town has ... A member of the Ku Klux Klan looks on during a rally, calling for the protection of Southern Confederate monuments, in Charlottesville, Virginia on July 8, 2017. The afternoon rally in this quiet university town has been authorized by officials in Virginia and stirred heated debate in America, where critics say the far right has been energized by Donald Trump's election to the presidency. / AFP PHOTO / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 9, 2018 11:10 a.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A Baltimore Ku Klux Klan leader has pleaded no contest to firing a gun during a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last summer.

Court records show Richard W. Preston entered the plea Tuesday. He was charged with discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school.

Authorities said Preston was shown in video of the incident yelling and firing a handgun once while standing on a sidewalk crowded with rally-goers and counterprotesters. No one was struck with the bullet.

Preston has previously said he was acting in self-defense.

A plea of no contest means a defendant acknowledges there’s enough evidence to convict him but doesn’t admit he committed the crime. The plea has the same effect as a guilty plea.

Court records show Preston will be sentenced Wednesday morning.

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