Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Charlottesville: James Alex Fields guilty of first-degree murder

In this handout provided by Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee Ohio poses for a mugshot after he allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters killing one and injuring 35 Neo-Nazi convicted of murder over Charlottesville rampage, faces life term
Kenny Thornton | 08 December, 2018, 17:17

Neo-Nazi James Alex Fields Jr. was found guilty on 10 charges including first-degree murder Friday after plowing his auto into protesters during the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year, killing Heather Heyer.

In addition to first-degree murder, which carries a possible life sentence, James Alex Fields Jr was found guilty of five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three of malicious wounding, and one hit-and-run count.

Fields lived in OH with his mother, and he drove overnight to be a part of the rally.

Videos from several angles and photos from the Charlottesville attack show Fields flying down Fourth Street in his auto, plowing into protesters, then backing up and hitting more.

Prosecutors countered that Field was motivated by hatred and had come to the rally to harm others.

Jury deliberations began briefly Thursday evening.

Prosecutors said Fields drove his auto directly into a crowd of counterprotesters at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017, because he was angry after witnessing earlier violent clashes between the two sides. The trial featured emotional testimony from survivors who described devastating injuries and long, complicated recoveries.

Present in the courtroom for the verdict, was Fields' mother and Susan Bro, Heyer's mother. She left the courthouse without commenting.

Heyer, a paralegal and civil rights activist, was killed.

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The rally brought out thousands of supporters of the alt-right, a loosely-knit coalition of white supremacists, white nationalists and neo-Nazis.

"I just heard three bumps", Peterson said - realizing only later that two were his vehicle running over her right leg, and one reversing back over it.

"We don't stand for this type of hate".

Bolstad said she met Fields when they were turned away from McIntire Park by police.

The cases stem from Fields' actions at the "Unite for the Right" rally in the Virginia town on August 12, 2017. I have a right to speak.

The "Unite the Right" rally was organized to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Some dressed in battle gear.

President Donald Trump was widely condemned after he said "both sides" were to blame for the violence.

The defendant was known in high school for being fascinated with Nazism and Hitler, a former teacher said. Jurors were shown a text message he sent to his mother days before the rally that included an image of the notorious German dictator. On Aug. 11, 2017, the day before the rally, she told him to be careful and he responded "We're not the one [sic] who need to be careful", along with a picture of Adolf Hitler.

Fields referred to Heyer's mother in a recorded jailhouse phone call as a "communist" and "one of those anti-white supremacists".

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