White Supremacist Found Guilty In Charlottesville Beating Of Black Man

A jury recommended a 10-year jail sentence and $20,000 fine for the attack on DeAndre Harris.
DeAndre Harris, a former special education instructor, is shown after receiving treatment for injuries he suffered in a beati
DeAndre Harris, a former special education instructor, is shown after receiving treatment for injuries he suffered in a beating as he protested last summer's white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A jury on Tuesday convicted a white supremacist who participated in the brutal beating of a black man in a parking garage during last August’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Jacob Scott Goodwin, a 23-year-old from Arkansas, was found guilty of a malicious wounding charge. The jury of three men and nine women recommended 10 years imprisonment with the option for a suspended sentence, along with a $20,000 fine and a rehabilitation plan for Goodwin. His sentence will be set by a judge on Aug. 23. 

Video showing several people attacking DeAndre Harris, 20, went viral in the aftermath of the disastrous Aug. 12 rally that left one counterprotester dead. The men in the video used poles to beat Harris in the garage, which stands next door to the Charlottesville Police Department

Harris emerged from the assault with his head dripping blood. He suffered a concussion and a broken arm, and required eight staples for his head wound, he told The Root.

Goodwin was shown in the video dressed in militia-style gear, including a helmet, and carrying a large shield.

His lawyer argued that his client feared for his life and had acted in self-defense, alleging it was Harris who picked a fight with the white supremacists. Goodwin testified that he thought he would “probably perish or be sent to the hospital and be terribly hurt” in the moments he faced off with Harris, according to The Washington Post

But prosecutor Nina-Alice Antony told the jury Goodwin came to the rally “outfitted for battle,” complete with “a full body shield.”

Neither the prosecution nor the defense mentioned Goodwin’s white supremacy affiliation during the trial, the Post reported. During the rally, one of the pins he wore bore the number 88, code for Heil Hitler.

An attorney for Harris and his family said in a statement that they were pleased with the conviction, but that they felt hate crime charges should have been added. 

“If hate crime charges were not appropriate in this case, it is difficult to imagine a situation in which such charges would be appropriate,” the statement read. “These shortcomings will be addressed in the civil litigation [the lawyer’s office] will move forward with upon the completion of these criminal matters.”

After video of the beating circulated on social media, web sleuths associated with Black Lives Matter spearheaded an effort to identify Harris’ attackers. Goodwin was arrested in October and three others face charges related to the attack.

A warrant was also issued in October for Harris, who was charged with assaulting another of the white supremacists, Harold Ray Crews, moments before Harris was attacked himself. Harris was acquitted in March.

A trial for another man charged in the Harris attack, Alex Michael Ramos of Georgia, is set to begin Wednesday. The trial for the other two, Tyler Watkins Davis of Florida and Daniel Borden of Ohio, will begin this summer.

This article has been updated with comment from a lawyer for Harris and his family.