An Orange County District judge found UNC graduate student Maya Little guilty of defacing Silent Sam after a day-long trial Monday. She will not have to pay court costs or restitution.
Little was charged with a misdemeanor of defacing a public statue or monument after she poured red paint and her own blood on the monument on April 30.
Her trial was presided by District Court Judge Samantha Cabe. Little was represented by attorney Scott Holmes, who has also represented those charged in the toppling of Silent Sam and other social movements free of charge as part of his private practice.
Cabe allowed permission to quash the defense’s subpoenas for Chancellor Carol Folt and UNC Police Chief Jeff McCracken, exempting them from having to testify for the defense. She argued while the two are not in such high-ranking positions to be immune to testifying, the subpoenas were not issued with enough notice.
Among the prosecution’s witnesses were a UNC police officer in charge of body cameras, the UNC police officer who arrested Little and the supervisor of the maintenance shop that cleaned Silent Sam for the estimated cost of $4,048.47. The State also showed the body camera footage as evidence.
“Hey hey, ho ho, this racist statue’s got to go!” Little chanted in the footage played in the court.
Holmes moved to dismiss the charges against Little, and argued the statute Little was charged under is too vague. Cabe denied the defense’s motions to dismiss charges without explanation.
The witnesses for the defense included Valerie Johnson, chairperson of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission; Pam Hemminger, mayor of Chapel Hill; Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue; UNC professor Kenneth Janken; UNC Campus Y Co-President Alli Whitenack and UNC senior and student activist Mistyre Bonds.
Hemminger expressed concern about another Charlottesville-type incident taking place if Silent Sam is returned and said the monument created a public safety issue.