Man who plowed into Charlottesville crowd guilty of 1st-degree murder

Man who plowed into Charlottesville crowd guilty of 1st-degree murder

Flowers surround a photo of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was killed when a vehicle plowed into a crowd of people protesting against the white supremacist Unite the Right rally, August 13, 2017.in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In this courtroom sketch James Alex Fields Jr., center, sits with his attorneys during the second day of jury selection in his trial in Charlottesville General District Court in Charlottesville, Va., Nov. 27, 2018. He's been on trial since November for the murder charge and still faces trial on the additional charges.

Fields faced a jury of seven women and five men during the nine-day trial.

The 21-year-old with ties to the hate group Vanguard America is now facing up to life in prison.

"We're not the one who need to be careful" he replied, alongside a photo of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, whom he has long admired.

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. Other evidence included recordings of conversations Fields had with his mother after his arrest, in which he described the counterprotesters at the rally as a "violent gang of terrorists", and derided Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, as an "anti-white liberal" who should be viewed as an enemy.

Prosecutors showed jurors videos showing Fields carrying a shield and chanting anti-Semitic and homophobic slogans alongside other members of the far right, and presented a text Fields sent to his mother before departing for the rally after she had asked him to be careful.

Al Bowie, who was injured in the attack, told reporters that she was ecstatic.

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Antony reminded the jury of a meme Fields posted three months earlier on Instagram.

John Hill, Fields' attorney, attempted to argue that he became scared by the violence at the rally, panicked, and drove into the group.

On Aug. 12, 2017, a rally organized by alt-right groups to protest the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue turned violent.

This undated file photo provided by the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail shows James Alex Fields Jr.

Earlier in the trial, a recording of a jailhouse phone call that Fields had with his mother in March was played in court.

The judge ruled that the text would be allowed to be entered as evidence, despite Fields' lawyer's protests, saying that it shows intent or motive of malice, according to The Associated Press. When he was told that a person died and many were injured, he gasped and sobbed. That's set to begin Monday.

President Donald Trump was widely condemned after he said "both sides" were to blame for the violence.

Prosecutors countered that Field was motivated by hatred and had come to the rally to harm others.

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