White Supremacist Who Drove His Car Into Charlottesville Crowd Convicted Of Murder

08 December, 2018, 17:19 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Neo-nazi guilty of murder over Charlottesville riots

Fields has separately been indicted on federal hate crime charges, which allow for the death penalty.

The defense for its part described a chaotic day in which several "Unite the Right" members and their opponents, some from the far left Antifa, had come armed with guns.

As a large group of counterprotesters marched through Charlottesville singing and laughing, he stopped his auto, backed up, then sped into the crowd, according to testimony from witnesses and video surveillance shown to jurors.

After the verdict was read in court, some of those who were injured embraced Heyer's mother, Susan Bro. A jury also found Fields guilty of five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding, and one hit and run count for injuring dozens of people at the demonstration.

The car-ramming capped a day of tension and physical clashes between hundreds of white supremacists and neo-Nazis who had assembled in Charlottesville to protest against the removal of statues commemorating two Confederate generals of the United States Civil War, and groups of opposing demonstrators.

The jury deliberated for about seven hours before convicting James Fields, 21, of all charges stemming from the deadly attack that occurred after police declared an unlawful assembly and cleared a city park of white supremacists gathered for the "Unite the Right" rally.

President Trump drew wide-scale criticism when in the aftermath of Charlottesville, he said that there was "blame on both sides".

Detectives searching for missing backpacker believe she was murdered
On Saturday police released images of her necklace and watch and urged anyone who recognised the items to come forward. Beard said "that property is going to be somewhere, the clothing is going to be somewhere, we haven't found it".

Reports coming from the trial note that some of Fields's school teachers remember him being peculiarly fascinated with Nazism and Adolf Hitler.

In order to build their case of a pre-meditated attack, prosecutors presented a text Fields sent to his mother before departing for the rally after she had asked him to be careful. "We're not the one who need to be careful", Fields replied in a misspelled text message on August 11, 2017. In another, Fields referred to the mother of the woman who was killed as a "communist" and "one of those anti-white supremacists".

A jury of seven women and five men began deliberating Friday morning and took just over seven hours to reach its decision that James Alex Fields Jr., 21, of Maumee, Ohio, acted with premeditation when he backed up his 2010 Dodge Challenger and then roared it down a narrow downtown street crowded with counter protesters, slamming into them and another auto. He posted the meme publicly to his Instagram page and sent a similar image as a private message to a friend in May 2017.

Prosecutors said Fields, who espoused white supremacist beliefs and took part in the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, had hate and violence on his mind when he plowed his vehicle into the crowd.

Sentencing will begin from Monday, with jurors given the option to recommend between 20 years and life for the murder conviction.

The jury had the option of convicting Fields on lesser charges, but found he maliciously, willfully and deliberately drove into the crowd near 4th and Water streets. No trial has been scheduled yet.

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