‘Commie killer’ Daniel Borden enters plea, is found guilty

Daniel Borden. Courtesy Charlottesville police Daniel Borden. Courtesy Charlottesville police

Another man charged with malicious wounding in the August 12 Market Street Parking Garage beatdown of DeAndre Harris has been convicted.

Daniel Borden, whose local TV station and newspaper have said he was known for his swastika drawings and Nazi salutes in high school, was 18 years old when he traveled from Maumee, Ohio, to Charlottesville for the Unite the Right rally.

He entered an Alford plea in Charlottesville Circuit Court on May 21, which isn’t an admission of guilt, but an acknowledgement that there’s enough evidence to convict him. Judge Rick Moore did, indeed, find him guilty.

“His argument is he didn’t have malice in his heart or mind when he did this,” said defense attorney Mike Hallahan. The felony charge carries up to 20 years in prison.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Nina-Alice Antony—who noted that Borden was wearing a white construction hat with “commie killer” written on it during the attack—said videos show the teenager beating Harris with a wooden object while Harris was already on the ground, which the judge agreed was enough evidence for the malicious wounding charge.

Hallahan previously argued that Borden wouldn’t be able to get a fair trial in Charlottesville, and said at a March 29 motions hearing that the city has shown an “absolute sheer bias” against rally participants by pursuing charges against them but not prosecuting people for jaywalking or blocking Fourth Street during the car attack in which a white supremacist rammed his car into a crowd of people, killing Heather Heyer and injuring many others. Fourth Street was supposed to have been closed during the rally.

After two two-day trials for assailants in the same case, juries convicted Jacob Goodwin, from Arkansas, and Alex Ramos, from Georgia, and recommended a sentence of 10 years and six years, respectively. The judge will formally sentence both men in August.

Borden, who told the judge he’s currently working on getting his GED, is scheduled to be sentenced October 1, exactly one month from his twentieth birthday.