Felony charges against Sen. Lucas dismissed

By Mark Mathews

Independent-Messenger

On Monday, Richmond judge Claire Cardwell dismissed two felony charges against Senator L. Louise Lucas stemming from a June 10 incident at a confederate monument in the City of Portsmouth. Earlier, Commonwealth Attorney Stephanie Morales said a team of prosecutors determined there was not enough evidence to prove a felony crime elements.

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe said the senator is someone all Virginians can admire.

"President Pro Tempore Louise Lucas is a trailblazer and hero for all Virginians , and I am thrilled to see justice for her and the other Portsmouth leaders," he said. "Their opposition to the Portsmouth Confederate monument is exactly what the late John Lewis would have called 'good trouble.' I was proud to go down to Portsmouth and stand by their side after the charges were announced, and all Virginians should be relieved today as justice was finally served. We must continue to fight for others in our justice system who have been wrongly charged. Onward." 

On June 10, protesters spray-painted the city's Confederate monument. Later that evening, protesters began tearing parts of the monument down. Part of the statue fell on a 45-year-old man, seriously injuring him.  The senator was not at the site at the time.

In August, Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene announced the District 18 state senator would face conspiracy charges to commit a felony and injury to a monument over $1,000. 

Greene was fired Monday after being on administrative leave since Sept. 4.  On a Facebook Live presentation, Greene said she plans to sue the City of Portsmouth for wrongful termination. 

Cardwell not only dismissed the charges against Lucas but dismissed charges against 13 others with prejudice, meaning the charges cannot be refiled.