Bond granted for Cantwell

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A man charged with illegal use of a chemical at the University of Virginia Rotunda on Aug. 11 was granted bond after serving 104 days in jail.

A judge set Christopher Cantwell's bond at $25,000 and prohibited him from possessing firearms as a bond condition. Cantwell, who lives in New Hampshire, also must wear an electronic monitoring device and must remain in the state of Virginia prior to his February trial.

The white nationalist with an online following gained infamy in the Vice News documentary about the events of Aug. 11 and 12. He initially was charged with three felonies relating to the release of pepper spray on Aug. 11.

In November, two of those charges were dropped, leaving a single felony count of illegal use of a chemical. On Monday, Cantwell was indicted on that charge, and the grand jury issued a direct indictment for a second count of the same charge.

In court, Cantwell's attorney, Elmer Woodard, said his client had voluntarily turned himself in after learning of the charges in August. He said that was proof that Cantwell is not a flight risk.

"He is enthusiastically willing to defend himself against these false charges," said Woodard.

Albemarle Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Tracci urged the court to deny bond, citing online comments that prosecutors said show his continued threat to public safety.

The bond conditions require Cantwell to stay in a residence, not a hotel. Woodard, who is based outside Danville, said that residence might be Woodard's own personal RV.

Both Tracci and Woodard declined to comment following the hearing.



 
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