GRAHAM, N.C. — Two U.S. Marines pleaded guilty to trespassing during the May 20 Confederate Memorial Day rally at the Old Courthouse in Graham, the Burlington-Times News reports.
Joseph W. Manning, 32, of Jacksonville, pleaded guilty to first-degree trespassing and Michael Joseph Chesny, 35, of Havelock, accepted an Alford plea. An Alford plea is a guilty plea without the admission of committing a crime.
The two were arrested on May 20 after police said they climbed on top of 101 N. Main St. without permission from the building’s owner and let down a banner that said “He who controls the past controls the future,” and featured an “Identitarian” symbol and the letters “YWNRU,” according to the Times-News.
Manning and Chesny were each sentenced to time served — eight hours in jail before being released on bond.
The Marine Corps has condemned Manning’s and Chesny’s actions in Graham.