LOUISA, Va. (AP) — A defense lawyer in Virginia made oral arguments seeking removal of a portrait of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee for his African-American client’s upcoming trial on a murder charge. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports defense attorney Douglas Ramseur argued before a Louisa County judge on Thursday that his client shouldn’t be tried in the courtroom unless the painting is taken down. A motion over the portrait was filed in October. The trial is scheduled for May. Darcel Nathaniel Murphy is charged with the 2016 killing of another man who was black.
Ramseur argued the painting of Lee was meant to venerate Confederates who fought to uphold slavery and white supremacy. He said the painting could have a prejudicial effect. The prosecutor’s office said it doesn’t have a position on the matter.