DRIVER WHO HIT MARCHERS CON­VICTED

Montreal Gazette - - WORLD -

CHAR­LOTTESVILLE, VA. A man who drove his car into a crowd of coun­ter­protesters at a white na­tion­al­ist rally in Vir­ginia was con­victed Fri­day of first-de­gree mur­der for killing a woman in an at­tack that in­flamed long-sim­mer­ing racial and po­lit­i­cal ten­sions across the coun­try. A state jury re­jected ar­gu­ments that James Alex Fields Jr. acted in self-de­fence dur­ing a “Unite the Right” rally in Char­lottesville on Aug. 12, 2017. Ju­rors also con­victed Fields of eight other charges, in­clud­ing ag­gra­vated ma­li­cious wound­ing and hit and run. Fields, 21, drove to Vir­ginia from his home in Maumee, Ohio, to sup­port the white na­tion­al­ists. As a large group of coun­ter­protesters marched through Char­lottesville singing and laugh­ing, he stopped his car, backed up, then sped into the crowd, killing Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old para­le­gal and civil rights ac­tivist, and wound­ing nearly three dozen oth­ers. The jury will re­con­vene Mon­day to de­ter­mine a sen­tence. Un­der the law, ju­rors can rec­om­mend from 20 years to life in prison.

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