VIRGINIA

Virginia abortion protesters will avoid jail

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - It appears the 30 protesters arrested at the state Capitol in March will escape jail time. Richmond prosecutor Michael Herring struck a tentative deal with the defendants and their lawyers during a hearing Friday.

He said trespassing charges will be dismissed after six months of good behavior by the defendants, provided they acknowledge that police had authority to arrest them.

Herring said all but a few indicated they will take the deal. The rest could go on trial June 19, but Herring said he likely would not argue for anything more than community service if they are convicted.

About 1,000 people attended a protest over abortion-related legislation.

Protesters who disobeyed police orders to move off the Capitol steps were arrested for unlawful assembly and trespassing. The first charge was dropped.

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