PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) \u2014 A Virginia public defender who had been accused of vandalizing a Confederate monument is now a Circuit Court judge.\r\n\r\nPortsmouth's chief public defender Brenda Spry's judicial appointment was approved Tuesday by the Virginia legislature with 33 votes in the Senate and 51 votes in the House of Delegates, news outlets reported.\r\n\r\nNearly all of those who voted for Spry in the House vote were Democrats, though Republican Del. Todd Gilbert voted "yes," ultimately giving Spry the extra vote needed to reach the minimum.\r\n\r\nHer eight-year term is set to begin Feb. 16.\r\n\r\nSpry has been a public defender in the city for three decades. She began leading the department in 2008, replacing John H. "Jay" Underwood III, who was named the city's first public defender in 1986.\r\n\r\nSpry was one of 19 people, including Sen. Louise Lucas, who were charged in August by Portsmouth police without the approval of local prosecutors after a protest in June drew hundreds of people to the city's Confederate monument. Heads were ripped off some of its statues while one was pulled down, critically injuring a demonstrator. Spry and two other public defenders were charged with "injury to a monument."\r\n\r\nThe charges were dropped in November at the request of Commonwealth's Attorney Stephanie Morales, who said there was not enough evidence to prove intent.