Charlottesville Jury Convicts 'Unite The Right' Protester Who Killed Woman


James Alex Fields Jr. was found guilty on Friday of killing Heather Heyer when he plowed his vehicle into a group of counterprotesters a year ago at a Unite the Right rally that quickly turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Fields was found guilty on all counts.

Charlottesville police detective Steven Young testified during a pretrial hearing past year that authorities arrested Fields shortly after the auto crash and that he began crying when they informed him that a woman was killed.

But Fields' lawyer said he panicked and was "scared to death" after witnessing violent clashes earlier in the day.

Charlottesville City Councilor Wes Bellamy says he hopes the guilty verdict will allow the city to move forward and to eventually heal.

After the rally was dispersed, Fields drove to where the counterprotest was taking place in downtown Charlottesville and backed up to the top of a hill, said the indictment.

Fields drove his 2010 Dodge Charger into the crowd of counter-protesters, killing 31-year-old Heyer and wounding 19 others. The white supremacist group was protesting the proposed removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general.

Prosecutors told the court that Fields attacked the protesters after he witnessed earlier clashes between them and other white nationalists earlier in the day.

Sending love to all of my friends in Charlottesville as white supremacist Trump supporter James Alex Fields, Jr is found guilty of First Degree murder and 9 other felonies for deliberately running over Heather Heyer & others with his auto.

Susan Bro left mother of Heather Heyer is hugged by a supporter on the steps of the courthouse after a guilty verdict was reached in the trial of James Alex Fields Jr. Friday Dec. 7 2018 at Charlottesville General district court in Charlottesville
James Alex Fields Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder in Violent Charlottesville Rally That Killed 1, Injured Others

Prior to deliberations, the defense requested the jury to find Fields guilty of lesser crimes, specifically naming involuntary manslaughter and unlawful wounding.

In closing statements, the commonwealth argued the case was about intent.

When Fields was brought into the courtroom Friday evening, he nodded slightly toward his mother, who was sitting nearby.

After his arrest, Fields made a recorded phone call to his mother calling Heyers' mother a "communist" and "one of those anti-white supremacists".

Hundreds of Ku Klux Klan members, neo-Nazis and other white nationalists, some dressed in battle gear, came to Charlottesville for one of the largest gatherings of white supremacists in a decade.

Prosecutors also showed the jury a cartoon that Fields had shared months earlier on Instagram of a auto ramming into a crowd, with the words, "You have the right to protest but I'm late for work".

Antony also referenced a text message sent by Fields the day before the rally after his mother told him to be careful.

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

"This is the best I've been in a year and a half", Bowie said. The jury is set to return on Monday to determine his sentence.

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