James Fields convicted in Charlottesville murder

James Alex Fields Jr, who plowed his auto into a crowd of counter-protesters after the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally in Virginia past year, has been has been found guilty of the first degree murder of Heather Heyer. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and 35 others were injured, many grievously. Things turned violent quickly after members of the hate group clashed with counter protestors while police officers stood by.

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

The jury deliberated for seven hours before convicting Fields, according to local media reports.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal and civil rights activist, was killed, and almost three dozen others were injured.

Fields had driven to Charlottesville from his home in OH to take part in the "Unite the Right" demonstration, which saw hundreds of neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan members march through the university town to protest the removal of a statue of a Confederate War general.

Fields, 21, was found guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder in connection to Heather Heyer's death in August 2017, NBC News reported.

A community activist believes justice was served with the first-degree-murder conviction of a man who drove his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia in 2017.

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

The defendant was known in high school for being fascinated with Nazism and Hitler, a former teacher said. At one point, Fields glanced back toward his mother, who, dressed in black and sitting in a wheelchair, sobbed quietly into a tissue.

It was a revised version of slurs shouted by white-supremacist-rally participants in 2017 who yelled "Jews will not replace us".

Earlier in the week they presented jurors a SMS message Fields sent to his mother before departing for the rally after she had asked him to be careful. Jurors were shown a text message he sent to his mother days before the rally that included an image of the notorious German dictator.

James Alex Fields Jr.is pictured in an undated photo released by the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

"I felt really comfortable with them", she said. He was also charged with 30 federal hate crimes.

In its closing argument, the commonwealth hammered home the heart of its case, that Fields was unprovoked and acted with the intent to harm people.

Prosecutors, though, said Fields was enraged when he drove more than 500 miles from his apartment in OH to take part in the rally - and later chose to act on that anger by ramming his two-door muscle auto into the crowd.

  • Jon Douglas