Delegate Wren Williams (R-Patrick) was found not guilty of assaulting Delegate Marie March (R-Floyd) on Wednesday. An outside judge brought in to hear the case said March’s legal team failed to prove Williams intentionally assaulted her, according to The Roanoke Times.
Williams and March are conservative Republicans in neighboring districts who have been paired into the same deep-red district for the upcoming election cycle, setting off one of the most heated primary battles currently in Virginia.
In September, March filed a misdemeanor assault charge against Williams, alleging that he “approached me in the lobby of the meeting room and struck me with his body” while at a local GOP dinner.
March lined up eyewitnesses to support her story, while Williams said that video of the event showed she exaggerated the incident.
“On the strength of witness testimony that exonerated Williams, security footage that contradicted March’s allegations, and inconsistencies in the testimonies of March’s witnesses, March’s case fell apart,” a Williams press release said Wednesday.
He said, “From the start, March brought these charges as a political hit-job. March has a pattern of using the criminal justice system to target people who stand in her way. This was a desperate move and it’s clear March is unhinged. I am grateful March’s allegations were proven false in court, so this controversy can officially be put to rest.”
A spokesperson for March declined to comment, but after the judge’s decision, March said on Facebook, “Today under oath, Wren Williams admitted to hitting me hard enough to throw himself backward. We had 4 witnesses allowed to testify that he changed course in order to veer to hit me and he lowered his shoulder to hit me. We had 8 more additional eyewitnesses wanting to testify about what they saw that evening.”
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Wren Williams” by Wren Williams. Photo “Marie March” by Marie March. Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Martin Kraft. CC BY-SA 3.0.