Neo-Nazi guilty of mur­der in Vir­ginia car as­sault

Ohio man still faces 30 fed­eral counts of hate crimes

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Front Page - Mike James

A man with neo-Nazi be­liefs whose brazen as­sault on coun­ter­protesters of a “Unite the Right” rally in Char­lottes­ville, Vir­ginia, last year was found guilty Fri­day of first-de­gree mur­der.

James Alex Fields Jr. plowed his 2010 Dodge Chal­lenger into the crowd, killing 32-year-old para­le­gal Heather Heyer. A jury in Char­lottes­ville de­lib­er­ated for seven hours be­fore con­vict­ing Fields, 21, a Nazi sym­pa­thizer from Maumee, Ohio.

The jury also found Fields guilty of five counts of ag­gra­vated ma­li­cious wound­ing, three of ma­li­cious wound­ing, and one hit-and-run count. In all, 35 other peo­ple were wounded in the Aug. 12, 2017 as­sault, which brought na­tional at­ten­tion and height­ened ten­sion be­tween right-lean­ing ac­tivists and their

on on ei­ther le­gal mat­ter.

Pauley is sched­uled to sen­tence Co­hen on Wed­nes­day.

The pros­e­cu­tion sen­tenc­ing memos for Co­hen are the lat­est devel­op­ment in the fate of a pug­na­cious at­tor­ney long known as an ar­dent Trump loy­al­ist and fixer of dif­fi­cult prob­lems. The re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two men rup­tured as Co­hen pleaded guilty this year to cam­paign fi­nance vi­o­la­tions, fraud and ly­ing to Congress.

Co­hen pleaded guilty in Au­gust to vi­o­lat­ing cam­paign fi­nance laws by pay­ing hush money at Trump’s di­rec­tion to adult film star Stormy Daniels and for­mer Play­boy model Karen McDou­gal.

Trump has de­nied the women’s ac­counts. Prose­cu­tors said the pay­ments were made “in order to in­flu­ence the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion” and were “co­or­di­nated with one or more mem­bers” of Trump’s win­ning cam­paign, “in­clud­ing through meet­ings and phone calls about the fact, na­ture, and tim­ing.”

Co­hen also pleaded guilty in Au­gust to charges of tax eva­sion and mak­ing false state­ments to a fed­er­ally in­sured bank.

Co­hen pleaded guilty last week to charges that he lied to con­gres­sional com­mit­tees in­ves­ti­gat­ing Trump’s deal­ings with Rus­sia.

Co­hen told the Se­nate and House pan­els last year that plan­ning for a Trump Tower in Moscow, dis­cus­sions about a pos­si­ble Trump trip to Rus­sia in con­nec­tion with the project, and re­lated talks with Rus­sia of­fi­cials all ended in Jan­uary 2016.

But Co­hen said last week that he con­tin­ued to dis­cuss ef­forts to win Rus­sian gov­ern­men­tal ap­proval for the project within The Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion as late as June 2016. By then, Trump was the pre­sump­tive Re­pub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee.

In a sen­tenc­ing memo filed by Co­hen’s de­fense team last week, at­tor­neys Guy Petrillo and Amy Lester pro­vided ad­di­tional de­tail about what they char­ac­ter­ized as the ini­tial “false sum­mary” about the Moscow project.

The memo ap­peared to im­pli­cate Trump, re­ferred to as the “client” or “Client-1,” in some of Co­hen’s self-con­fessed crimes.

Re­gard­ing the hush money, Co­hen’s at­tor­neys wrote that he did not per­son­ally make pay­ments to buy the si­lence of “Woman-1,” pos­si­bly a ref­er­ence to McDou­gal.

But they wrote that he “par­tic­i­pated in pay­ment plan­ning dis­cus­sions with Client-1 and the Chair­man and CEO of Cor­po­ra­tion-1.”

Co­hen paid Daniels “in co­or­di­na­tion with and at the di­rec­tion of Client-1, and oth­ers within” The Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion, they wrote.

Co­hen’s at­tor­neys asked for le­niency based on his vol­un­tary co­op­er­a­tion with the in­ves­ti­ga­tions by Mueller and fed­eral prose­cu­tors, and with Trump-re­lated in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the New York At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice and the New York State Depart­ment of Tax­a­tion and Fi­nance.

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