Neo-Nazi guilty of murder in Virginia car assault
Ohio man still faces 30 federal counts of hate crimes
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.