Charlottesville killer James Fields convicted of first-degree murder

James Alex Fields Jr

Modal Trigger James Alex Fields Jr. Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail

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

Fields was convicted of all the charges against him, including eight separate counts of aggravated malicious wounding and malicious wounding, and one count of leaving the scene of a crash that caused serious injuries.

Fields lived in OH with his mother, and he drove overnight to be a part of the rally. Hill described Fields as being "scared to death" and claimed he feared bodily harm after the violent clashes erupted between participants of the Unite the Right rally and anti-racist counterprotesters.

Jury deliberations began briefly Thursday evening.

Defence attorneys never disputed that Fields was behind the wheel of the Dodge Charger that sent bodies flying when it crashed into a crowd on 12 August past year, killing counter-protester Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring 19 others. She left the courthouse without commenting.

Remember that Unite the Right rally that went down in Charlottesville a year ago? They will not replace us!" they yelled, in a response to the chants heard during the 2017 rally, when some white nationalists shouted: "You will not replace us! and "Jews will not replace us".

Charlottesville City Councilor Wes Bellamy says he hopes the guilty verdict will allow the city to move forward and to eventually heal.

Bolstad said she met Fields when they were turned away from McIntire Park by police.

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"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.

"There does not seem to be any reasonable evidence put forward that he engaged in murderous intent", Spencer said. I have a right to speak.

The car-ramming incident capped a day of tensions and physical clashes between hundreds of white nationalists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis who had assembled in Charlottesville to protest plans to remove statues of two Confederate generals, and groups of opposing demonstrators. Some dressed in battle gear.

Republican US President Donald Trump was strongly condemned by fellow Republicans as well as Democrats for saying afterward that "both sides" were to blame for the violence.

One of Fields' former teachers said he was known in high school for being fascinated with Nazism and idolising Adolf Hitler.

In order to build their case of a pre-meditated attack, prosecutors presented a text Fields sent to his mother before departing for the rally after she had asked him to be careful.

After his arrest, Fields made a recorded phone call to his mother calling Heyers' mother a "communist" and "one of those anti-white supremacists". He also argued that he showed remorse. He posted the meme publicly to his Instagram page and sent a similar image as a private message to a friend in May 2017.

Hill, on the defense, said his client was "scared to death" and drove his vehicle sporadically in fear the throngs of people would attack him during the violent clashes on the street.

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