2 Marines sentenced for trespassing during Confederate rally

FILE - In this July 19, 2011, file photo, Confederate battle flags fly outside the museum at the Confederate Memorial Park in Mountain Creek, Ala. The Confederate battle flag has been removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds, in the wake of the massacre of nine African-Americans, including a state senator, at an historic black church in Charleston in June 2015. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) — Two U.S. Marines have been sentenced for trespassing during a Confederate Memorial Day rally in North Carolina in May.

News outlets report Camp Lejeune Staff Sgt. Joseph W. Manning and Cherry Point Sgt. Michael Joseph Chesny entered Alford pleas Tuesday. They maintained their innocence but admitted there was sufficient evidence for a conviction. They were sentenced to time already served.

Police said they climbed atop a building in Graham and unfurled a banner that read, in part, “YWNRU,” which stands for “You will not replace us,” the slogan chanted by white nationalist demonstrators who protested the removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A Marine spokesman has said Manning was being processed for discharge. A Cherry Point spokesman said Wednesday that Chesny is being considered for promotion to staff sergeant.