Man who drove into crowd con­victed of mur­der

The Norwalk Hour - - OBITUARIES/NEWS -

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 longsim­mer­ing racial and po­lit­i­cal ten­sions across the coun­try.

A state jury re­jected ar­gu­ments that James Alex Fields Jr. acted in self-de­fense 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, ac­cord­ing to tes­ti­mony from wit­nesses and video sur­veil­lance shown to ju­rors.

Pros­e­cu­tors told the jury that Fields was an­gry af­ter wit­ness­ing violent clashes be­tween the two sides ear­lier in the day.

The vi­o­lence prompted po­lice to shut down the rally be­fore it even of­fi­cially be­gan.

Heather Heyer, a 32-yearold para­le­gal and civil rights ac­tivist, was killed, and nearly three dozen oth­ers were in­jured.

The trial fea­tured emo­tional tes­ti­mony from sur­vivors who de­scribed dev­as­tat­ing in­juries and long, com­pli­cated re­cov­er­ies.

Carsten Koall / Getty Im­ages

An­negret Kramp-Kar­ren­bauer is con­grat­u­lated by An­gela Merkel af­ter re­ceiv­ing the most votes to be­come the next leader of the Ger­man Chris­tian Democrats at a fed­eral congress of the CDU on Fri­day in Ham­burg, Ger­many. An­negret Kramp-Kar­ren­bauer suc­ceeds An­gela Merkel, who has led the party for the last 18 years and an­nounced she would make way for a new leader fol­low­ing heavy losses this year for the CDU in two state elec­tions.

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