White nationalist convicted of murdering protester in Charlottesville

Local activists raise their fists outside Charlottesville General District Court after a guilty verdict was reached in the trial of James Alex Fields Jr. in Charlottesville Va. Friday Dec. 7 2018. Fields was convicted of first degree murder in the

Self-professed neo-Nazi James Alex Fields Jr. was convicted of first-degree murder on Friday for killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer when he intentionally drove his auto into a group of counterprotesters at last year's violent Unite the Right rally that brought scores of white supremacists to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia.

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

A 21-year-old neo-Nazi has been found guilty of all the charges resulting from a rally in Virginia that ended in the death of Heather Heyer.

Heyer, a paralegal and civil rights activist, was killed.

While the fact that Fields had struck the protesters in his Dodge Challenger was not contested, his lawyers and prosecutors had offered contrasting narratives over his state of mind and intentions on that day. The witness said he couldn't recall what Fields said. Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, and eight victims are anticipated to testify before Fields' sentencing. Now, she finds it hard to walk unassisted.

Fields ― a 21-year-old extremist associated with the hate group Vanguard America ― faced charges of first-degree murder and other felonies over the attack, in which he intentionally sped into protesters after the "Unite the Right" rally on August 12, killing one and injuring dozens more.

"I saw Heather Heyer up in the air and remember thinking to myself, 'That's what someone's eyes look like when they are dead'".

Prosecutors claimed that Fields drove his vehicle directly into them at the "Unite the Right" rally.

The defendant was known in high school for being fascinated with Nazism and Hitler, a former teacher said.

Susan Bro left mother of Heather Heyer is hugged by a supporter on the steps of the courthouse after a guilty verdict was reached in the trial of James Alex Fields Jr. Friday Dec. 7 2018 at Charlottesville General district court in Charlottesville

Unite the Right, called to oppose Charlottesville's decision to remove a Confederate statue, was the largest white nationalist rally in the USA in recent decades.

Bolstad said she met Fields when they were turned away from McIntire Park by police. She added that Fields "didn't seem angry" and "seemed normal".

Remember that Unite the Right rally that went down in Charlottesville a year ago?

Among the witnesses they called was Dwayne Dixon, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor.

As the sounds and images of brutal beatings, bloodied faces and hate-filled chants spread across the country and around the world, this city quickly became identified with the emergence of a new order of white supremacy that no longer felt compelled to hide in the shadows or the safety of online anonymity.

According to a report in local media, Dixon admitted to writing a now-deleted Facebook post in January saying he "shooed" away Fields while holding a rifle sometime before the fatal auto ramming. "Every last one of them must be held accountable".

After his arrest, Fields made a recorded phone call to his mother calling Heyers' mother a "communist" and "one of those anti-white supremacists".

Molly Conger, a local activist and citizen journalist who has been following the events, tweeted afterwards that there "is a fundamental difference between remorse and the self pity of someone who realizes their actions have real consequences".

Fields "was not crying for Heather Heyer. he was crying for himself".

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