White Supremacist Who Drove Into Crowd Of Charlottesville Counter-Protesters, Killing Woman, Found Guilty Of Murder
James Fields, the white supremacist who used his vehicle as a weapon after he drove into a crowd of counter-demonstrators, was finally found responsible for the death of a 32-year-old woman named Heather Heyer, who was killed as a result.
On Friday a jury found Fields, 21, guilty of first-degree murder in connection to Heyer’s death, according to NBC News. Fields was also found guilty of five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and one count for refusing to stop at an accident. Fields now faces 20 years to possible life sentence and will be sentenced at a later time.
Last year Fields was also charged with 30 federal hate crimes in the case. He awaits trail for the separate charges.
Fields used his Dodge Challenger to plow into a group of people who were gathered to protest against the “Unite The Right” rally Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. Hayer was in attendance to stand in solidarity with the demonstrators but lost her life as a result. The accident also caused dozens of severe injuries.
A woman named Star Peterson, now has to uses a wheelchair and a cane, while another named Marcus Martin suffered a broken ankle, destroyed ligaments and a twisted tibia after he pushed his fiancé out of the way to avoid impact.
Fields’ lawyers argued that he “feared his safety” and panicked causing him to run into the crowd. Prosecutors warned against that claim and instead offered to the jury that Fields was riled to anger by the cause of the peaceful counter protesters. In the end, the jury agreed.
The verdict comes after a three-week trial including hours long testimonies and a slew of experts who testified on both sides.