Jury convicts man involved in death at Charlottesville rally

08 Décembre, 2018, 10:10 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • James Alex Fields Jr

The "Unite the Right" rally was organized to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Calhoun said he and his girlfriend attended the rally and spent part of the day with Fields, whom they had just met that day.

Jurors convicted Fields of eight other charges, including aggravated malicious wounding and hit and run.

Flowers surround a photo of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was killed when a auto plowed into a crowd of people protesting against the white supremacist Unite the Right rally, August 13, 2017.in Charlottesville, Virginia. When Fields' mother responded, she noted how Heyer's mother Susan Bro "lost her daughter". "Today, we have reclaimed our streets", local activist Rosia Parker proclaimed at a Charlottesville memorial for Heyer, according to The Daily Progress.

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.

Spencer popularized the term "alt-right" to describe a fringe movement loosely mixing white nationalism, anti-Semitism and other far-right extremist views. Some dressed in battle gear. The incident spawned the controversial response from Donald Trump where he claimed that blame could be attributed to both sides, and that there were good and bad people on both the white supremacist side and the opposition. In a text message exchange with his mother before the rally, Mr. Fields was told to "be careful".

Reports coming from the trial note that some of Fields's school teachers remember him being peculiarly fascinated with Nazism and Adolf Hitler. In another, Fields referred to the mother of the woman who was killed as a "communist" and "one of those anti-white supremacists".

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Among other evidence in the case, jurors saw Fields, of Maumee, Ohio, marching and chanting with white nationalists, a meme Fields had posted months earlier of a vehicle plowing into a crowd, and a text message he sent his mother the day before the auto attack that included a photo of Adolf Hitler.

Prosecutors told the court that Fields attacked the protesters after he witnessed earlier clashes between them and other white nationalists earlier in the day. He posted the meme publicly to his Instagram page and sent a similar image as a private message to a friend in May 2017. A video of Fields being interrogated after the crash showed him sobbing and hyperventilating after he was told a woman had died and others were seriously injured.

On Thursday, she urged the jury to find Fields guilty of "no more than" the lesser charges of manslaughter in Heyer's death and unlawful wounding for the injuries to others.

"This is the best I've been in a year and a half", Bowie said.

A white nationalist who killed a counterprotester in Virginia previous year was convicted on Friday of first-degree murder and eight other charges.

A jury needed a little more than seven hours to convict Fields, of Maumee, Ohio, in the killing of Heyer during a "Unite the Right" rally in Virginia on August 12, 2017.

Separately, Fields also faces dozens of federal charges, including hate crimes, which could result in the death penalty. No trial has been scheduled yet.

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