Man guilty of mur­der in killing of pro­tester in Char­lottesville

The Sun News - - Nation - BY JOE HEIM AND KRISTINE PHILLIPS

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.

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