A KKK leader in Maryland was sentenced to four years in prison after he fired a gun at Black counter protester during last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, HuffPost reports.
Richard W. Preston received his sentence on Tuesday following a guilty plea he made in May for shooting his gun within 1,000 of a school, per HuffPost.
Preston attended the White supremacist rally in 2017 that left 32-year-old Heather Heyer dead after she was killed by a white supremacist who hit her with his car when he rammed it into a crowd of counter-protesters.
Preston was seen on video shooting his gun at the feet of Corey Long, a Black man, who was at the rally as a counter-protester.
Elmer Woodward, Preston’s attorney, argued that his client was protecting himself from Long, who had an aerosol can that he sprayed onto a lighter, per HuffPost.
“Somebody had to put a stop to that flamethrower,” Woodard said. “The rules go out the window when flamethrowers are involved.”
Long is not off the hook from the incidence. He’s facing misdemeanor charges for assault and disorderly conduct, per the report.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.