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Detective’s Facebook comment becomes issue at court hearing

VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) A lawyer for a murder suspect in Virginia says the case should be dismissed partly because of a detective’s “racist” statement on Facebook.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Friday that the comment was unrelated to the case. Virginia Beach detective Kevin Fanelli was responding to a Facebook comment on an article about women trashing a restaurant over the service.

Fanelli wrote: “Of course they were black. Does me knowing this before I read the article indicate a problem with them or me? Them.” He later apologized.

Lawyer Andrew Sacks asked a judge at a court hearing to dismiss the charges. The suspect is black. The detective is white.

The judge said the post showed poor judgment but ruled the evidence against the suspect was strong enough to go to a grand jury.

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