Man who ran over Charlottesville protester guilty of murder

James Alex Fields Jr

Modal Trigger James Alex Fields Jr. Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail

According to NBC 29, James Fields has been found guilty of the first-degree murder of Heather Heyer.

They described Fields "idling, watching" in his Challenger on Fourth Street and surveying a diverse and joyous crowd of marchers a block and a half away that was celebrating the cancellation of the planned rally.

Defence attorneys never disputed that Fields was behind the wheel of the Dodge Charger that sent bodies flying when it crashed into a crowd on 12 August past year, killing counter-protester Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring 19 others. In her final address to the jury Thursday, Senior-Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Nina-Alice Antony showed a close-up of Fields in his vehicle to rebut the idea that he was frightened when he acted.

During the trial, prosecutors provided evidence that Fields showed little remorse for the murder in a call he made to his mother in December 2017.

Unite the Right, called to oppose Charlottesville's decision to remove a Confederate statue, was the largest white nationalist rally in the U.S. in recent decades. "We're not the one [s] who need to be careful", he replied in a message that also included a photo of Adolf Hilter.

A 12-person jury of seven women and five men also found Fields guilty on charges of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury or death. He's been on trial since November for the murder charge and still faces trial on the additional charges.

They also showed the jury two Instagram posts Fields uploaded in May previous year that depicted a auto ramming into a group of protesters, arguing that he ultimately chose to live out that fantasy when the opportunity arose three months later.

Al Bowie, who was injured in the attack, told reporters that she was ecstatic.

"You can't do that based on the fact that he holds extreme right-wing views", she said.

The country watched in dismay on August 12, 2017 as right-wing demonstrators - including white supremacists and neo-Nazis upset in part over the the city of Charlottesville's plan to remove a Confederate monument - and counterprotesters clashed.

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

In it, Fields said that he was defending himself from "a violent mob of terrorists".

Though Fields' trial has been the most extensively covered, there are more trials and lawsuits to come, including one against Jason Kessler, a city resident and one of the rally's organizers. She added that Fields "didn't seem angry" and "seemed normal".

"I felt really comfortable with them", she said.

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