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Assailant gets four years for beating black man after Charlottesville white nationalist rally

Charlottesville, Virginia — An Ohio man was sentenced Monday to just under four years in prison for his role in the beating of a black man the day of a white nationalist rally in Virginia in 2017. Daniel Borden was sentenced to 20 years, but most of that sentence was suspended. His active sentence amounts to three years and 10 months.

Borden, of Huber Heights, Ohio, was one of four men charged in the Aug. 12, 2017, beating of DeAndre Harris in Charlottesville. 

Harris suffered a broken wrist and lacerations that required staples in his head. The beating was captured on video, which went viral. New York journalist and activist Shaun King led a social-media based effort to identify the attackers.    

Confederate Monument Protest Beating
In this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 photo, DeAndre Harris is assaulted in a parking garage beside the Charlottesville police station after a white nationalist rally was dispersed by police, in Charlottesville, Va.  Zach D. Roberts / AP

Last year, Borden entered an Alford plea to malicious wounding. The plea means Borden did not admit guilt, but acknowledged prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him. Two others were convicted last year for their roles in the assault. 

Alex Ramos was sentenced to six years and Jacob Goodwin was sentenced to eight years. Another man, Tyler Watkins Davis, pleaded not guilty to a charge of malicious wounding in October and is expected to stand trial next month, according to the Daily Progress.

Harris was also charged with a misdemeanor count of assaulting a white nationalist but was acquitted in March. Local news outlets reported the judge in that case said it was clear Harris didn't intend to harm the man who made a complaint against him.

During Borden's sentencing hearing Monday, WVIR-TV in Charlottesville reports Borden told the judge he is not a bigot and is remorseful. He also apologized to Harris, who was not in the courtroom.

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Daniel Borden WCAV

"As with all prosecutions surrounding the August 12, 2017 attack of DeAndre Harris, this office is hopeful that today's outcome brings some measure of solace and closure to him and the community at large," Commonwealth's Attorney Joseph Platania said after Borden was sentenced.

The Unite the Right rally had been organized by white nationalists in part to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The day was marked by violence. One woman was killed and dozens were injured when a car driven by James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, plowed into a crowd of people who gathered to protest the white nationalists.

Fields, 21, was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges last month. The jury recommended a sentence of life plus 419 years. Sentencing is scheduled for March 29.