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

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP

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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