Jury Recommends White Nationalist Spend Life In Prison For Deadly Car Attack

In August 2017, Mr. Fields traveled from Ohio to attend the Unite the Right rally, where swastika-toting white supremacists swarmed the streets and clashed with counterprotesters. In an attack that killed a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, Mr. Fields sped down a narrow street packed with counterprotesters, many who were on their way home after the authorities shut down the demonstration.

James Alex Fields Jr.CreditAlbemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, via Associated Press

The jury’s complete sentence recommendation included life in prison for first-degree murder, as well as 419 years of prison time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for the lesser charges. Mr. Fields faces a second trial on federal hate crime charges, which could result in the death penalty.

“In the end, the hands of justice say that he needs to be kept away from society for a while, and I’m content with that,” Susan Bro, Ms. Heyer’s mother, told reporters at a news conference outside the court on Tuesday.

At the conference, Joseph D. Platania, the commonwealth’s attorney, praised the jury’s decision, calling it a “true act of public service.” During the trial, prosecutors had argued that Mr. Fields traveled to the rally with an intent to commit harm, citing a cartoon that he shared on Instagram months before the protests that showed a car ramming into a crowd.

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