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Man accused of racist threats expected to plead guilty

A white man charged with making racist online threats against a black activist in Virginia is expected to plead guilty next month, according to court records and a spokesman for federal prosecutors.

Brian McGinn, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office for the Western District of Virginia, confirmed that Daniel McMahon is expected to enter a guilty plea during a hearing set for March 16. However, McGinn said in an email Friday that he couldn’t discuss the details of any potential guilty plea until after McMahon appears at the hearing before U.S. Judge Norman Moon in Charlottesville.

A docket entry on Friday says only that Mahon has a change-of-plea hearing set for March 16. An attorney for McMahon, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and email seeking comment.

McMahon, of Brandon, Florida, had a trial scheduled to start June 15 at the federal courthouse in Charlottesville.

McMahon was charged last August with posting social media messages intended to intimidate activist Don Gathers and interfere with Gathers’ plans to run for a seat on Charlottesville's city council. An indictment says McMahon expressed white supremacist views on his social media accounts.

McMahon, who remains in custody, pleaded not guilty to charges including bias-motivated interference with a candidate for elective office.

Michael Kunzelman, The Associated Press

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