2 Marines plead guilty to trespassing at Confederate rally in Graham

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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.

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