PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — As a removal team continues to carry away the remnants of the Confederate monument, the Portsmouth Police Department is continuing to take out charges against those who allegedly played a role in the June 10 protest that damaged the monument beyond repair and left a man with serious injuries.
24-year-old Hannah Cuevas was arrested and released on the charge of intentionally destroying, defacing, or damaging property belonging to another with a value of more than $1,000.
The other new defendants are Harmony Y. Harris, John F. Morin-Leiding, Lauren Patrise-Jones, and Raquel L. Ammons.
These new defendants are in addition to 14 others charged Aug. 17 in connection with the protest. Those charged include state Sen. L. Louise Lucas, local NAACP chapter leaders and public defenders.
A police spokesperson and court officials told 10 On Your Side the other four new defendants had not been served as of Monday morning. They are facing the same charge as Cuevas, which is a Class 6 felony.
A police spokesperson said authorities ask that the defendants turn themselves in, just as the police department would ask of anyone with an active felony warrant.
Last Monday, Vice Mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke — Sen. Lucas’ daughter — was charged with misdemeanors after she publicly called for the firing of the police chief, an act that allegedly violates the city code.
More people could be charged.
Two weeks ago, police issued photos of 13 unidentified people who are under investigation for their alleged roles in the monument destruction. Police initially released the photos, but the photographer later claimed his copyright of them. They are no longer available.
Veteran defense attorney Michael Massie turned to Youtube to offer free legal advice for the defendants.
“Please stop talking about your case on social media outlets. It’s not going to help your case whatsoever. Use your time to speak with a very qualified and talented attorney and he or she will tell you the same thing. Trying to win your case in a public forum like social media — that’s not the way to deal with serious felony charges,” Massie said.
Sen. Lucas and 13 others are due in court on Sept. 4. Court records show Cuevas has a court date for Sept. 11, Harris on Sept. 26 and Vice Mayor Lisa Lucas Burke‘s court date was pushed back to October.
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