Confederate monument toppling case: Prosecutor plans to drop felonies

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- A North Carolina district attorney says he plans to drop felony charges against eight protesters accused of toppling a Confederate statue last year.
The Durham County district attorney said in an email Thursday that his office plans to try the defendants only on misdemeanor charges and that the felony charges would be dismissed.
A judge set a February 19 trial date for the defendants during a court appearance earlier in the morning. The protesters were charged with a felony rioting count and misdemeanor property damage charges.
The statue of an anonymous rebel in front of a Durham government building was brought down Aug. 14 in the aftermath of a deadly white nationalist protest in Virginia. One Durham protester climbed a ladder to attach a rope while others pulled it down.