Charlottesville: James Alex Fields guilty of first-degree murder


James Alex Fields Jr, who plowed his auto into a crowd of counter-protesters after the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally in Virginia past year, has been has been found guilty of the first degree murder of Heather Heyer. Sentencing will be determined by the court beginning Monday morning - Fields could face up to six life sentences and 70 years in prison for the charges.

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.

In addition to murder, Fields was convicted of five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and a hit-and-run offence.

Earlier in the day, Fields was photographed marching with Vanguard America, a neo-Nazi group, during the rally.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal and civil rights activist, was killed, and almost three dozen others were injured.

The nine-day trial featured days of emotional testimony from victims who were seriously injured in the crash, including a man who pushed his girlfriend out of the way, bearing the brunt of the impact himself, and a single mother who suffered two broken legs and a broken back.

Prosecutor Nina-Alice Antony described Fields as a hate-filled man who idled his auto for three minutes before backing up and speeding his vehicle into the crowd, Fox News reported.

"I'm very happy with the verdict", she said outside the courthouse.

More news: CDU to choose new party leader

Tadrint Washington, a young African American woman who was in her Toyota Camry in the downtown area when it was rear-ended by Fields's vehicle, said she was struck by the joyful atmosphere.

Charlottesville civil rights activist Tanesha Hudson said she attended the rally and saw the violence that day.

On Aug. 12, 2017, a rally organized by alt-right groups to protest the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue turned violent. In a text message exchange with his mother before the rally, Mr. Fields was told to "be careful".

They also showed the jury two Instagram posts Fields uploaded in May that showed a auto ramming into a group of protesters, arguing that he ultimately chose to live out that fantasy when the opportunity arose three months later.

Present in the courtroom for the verdict, was Fields' mother and Susan Bro, Heyer's mother.

According to one of his former teachers, Fields was known in high school for being fascinated with Nazism and idolizing Adolf Hitler.

Bowie told The Associated Press after the jury delivered its verdict that "this is the best I've been in a year-and-a-half".

Jeanne "Star" Peterson told the court she was fast on her feet till her right leg was run over by Fields's vehicle. No trial has been scheduled yet.