Man guilty of murder in killing of protester in Charlottesville
An avowed supporter of neo-Nazi beliefs who took part in the violent and chaotic white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in this city last year was found guilty Friday of first-degree murder for killing a woman by ramming his car through a crowd of counterprotesters.
A jury of seven women and five men began deliberated just over seven hours Friday to reach its decision that James Fields Jr., 21, of Maumee, Ohio, acted with premeditation when he backed up his 2010 Dodge Challenger and then roared it down a narrow downtown street crowded with counterprotesters, slamming into them and another car. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and 35 others injured.
The attack in the early afternoon of Aug. 12, 2017, culminated a dark 24 hours in this quiet college town. It was marked by a menacing torchlight march through the University of Virginia campus the night before, with participants shouting racist and anti-Semitic insults, and wild street battles on the morning of the planned rally between white supremacists and those opposing their ideology.
Fields’ conviction followed six days of testimony in Charlottesville Circuit Court, where Heyer’s deadly injuries were detailed and survivors of the crash described the chaos and their own injuries.
James Fields Jr.