Neo-nazi guilty of murder over Charlottesville riots

Neo-nazi guilty of murder over Charlottesville riots

James Alex Fields Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder in Violent Charlottesville Rally That Killed 1, Injured Others

James Alex Fields Jr, a neo-Nazi supporter who drove his vehicle into counter-protesters at the white nationalist rally past year, was convicted of first-degree murder and nine other charges Friday afternoon.

The jury reached their verdict at the end of its first day of deliberations following a trial lasting nearly two weeks.

Sending love to all of my friends in Charlottesville as white supremacist Trump supporter James Alex Fields, Jr is found guilty of First Degree murder and 9 other felonies for deliberately running over Heather Heyer & others with his vehicle.

A state jury rejected defense arguments that James Alex Fields Jr. acted in self-defense during a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017.

Prosecutors said Fields, who espoused white supremacist beliefs and took part in the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, had hate and violence on his mind when he plowed his auto into the crowd.

About a dozen civil rights activists who were outside the courthouse awaiting a verdict in the trial of James Alex Fields Jr. are celebrating his first-degree-murder conviction.

After a week of testimony, a jury found that Fields deliberately rammed his auto into the crowd after the rally, which was organized in part to protest the removal of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue.

He will be sentenced Monday morning and faces up to life in prison.

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The trial featured emotional testimony from survivors who described devastating injuries and long, complicated recoveries. "She's the enemy", Fields apparently said of Heyer's mother.

A taped phone call from jail between Fields and his mother was also played for the court. Throughout the day, rally participants clashed with community members, anti-racists and anti-fascists across the city.

"A lot of people have worked hard for August 12 not to feel like every day of our lives", said Seth Wispelwey, a local minister who helped form Congregate Charlottesville, a faith-based group formed in advance of a Ku Klux Klan rally and the Unite the Right rally here last summer.

Fields was photographed hours before last year's attack carrying a shield with the emblem of a far-right hate group, and people who knew him in high school have said he expressed Nazi sympathies as a student.

When his mother pleaded with him to be careful, he replied: "We're not the one (sic) who need to be careful". The white supremacist group participated in the rally, but it later denied he was associated with them.

The controversy grew when Trump said there were some "very bad people" on both sides, but that some who came out to protest the removal of Charlottesville's Robert E. Lee statue were "fine people".

He has also been charged with federal hate crime counts, which could carry the death penalty.

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