UNC graduate student found guilty of defacing Silent Sam

ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- On Monday, an Orange County judge found UNC graduate student Maya Little guilty of defacing a public statue months after she smeared her own blood and red ink on Silent Sam.

Little was arrested on the charges in April.

At the time, she expressed frustration with UNC Chancellor Carol Folt about the statue's continued presence on the campus.

"These last five years Carol Folt has been chancellor and she has not taken a single step towards removing Silent Sam," Little wrote in a prepared statement. "The armed, Confederate soldier dedicated and built by racists during Jim Crow has remained. However, the dedication and courage of each successive group of students fighting for racial equality at UNC has made our message louder and clearer. The threat of Neonazis and white supremacists marching on our communities has made it more urgent."

The polemical statue was erected in 1913 and was located on the north side of UNC's campus facing Franklin Street, before it was knocked down by protesters in August.

The verdict came after a day of testimony from Chapel Hill and UNC campus police officials. Little testified in her own defense. The judge is assessing how much Little can afford to pay in fines and court costs.

Little and her supporters have scheduled a rally near the pedestal of the Silent Sam monument for 7 p.m. Monday.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.