White Nationalist Convicted Of First-Degree Murder In C'ville Car Attack

The Dodge Challenger allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr. moments after the rampage in Charlottesville Virginia

Fields is the face of violent white supremacy in our country.

Many in their emboldened ranks shouted fascist slogans, displayed Nazi swastikas and Confederate battle flags and extended their arms in Sieg Heil salutes. 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.

Jury deliberations began on Thursday night, after Charlottesville prosecutors' closing arguments.

The prosecution had called multiple witnesses and victims who recounted what in some cases turned out to be life-altering injuries.

Prosecutors, though, said Fields was enraged when he drove more than 500 miles from his apartment in OH to take part in the rally - and later chose to act on that anger by ramming his two-door muscle vehicle into the crowd.

Twenty minutes later, Fields plowed into the crowd.

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. "This is the face of anger, of hatred".

They also showed the jury two Instagram posts Fields uploaded in May that showed a auto ramming into a group of protesters, arguing that he ultimately chose to live out that fantasy when the opportunity arose three months later. She said he believed a group of protesters behind him was about to swarm his auto, although no evidence was presented to support that.

Prosecutors told the court that Fields attacked the protesters after he witnessed earlier clashes between them and other white nationalists earlier in the day.

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Earlier in the week they presented jurors a SMS message Fields sent to his mother before departing for the rally after she had asked him to be careful. When his mother pleaded with him to be careful, he replied: "we're not the one (sic) who need to be careful". He included an attachment: a meme showing Adolf Hitler.

"You can't do that based on the fact that he holds extreme right-wing views", she said.

April Muñiz, 50, was on Fourth Street when Fields drove into the crowd. Muñiz attended every day of the proceedings and said the trial helped her "pull the shattered pieces of that day together".

The guilty verdict for Fields is not the end of his legal troubles.

Fields also faces separate federal hate-crime charges, which carry a potential death sentence. The legacy of that hate-filled weekend hangs over the city, a cloud that refuses to blow away.

Al Bowie, who was injured in the attack, told reporters that she was ecstatic. The white supremacist group was protesting the proposed removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general. "Stonewall" Jackson from downtown parks.

"They will not replace us!"

The cases stem from Fields' actions at the "Unite for the Right" rally in the Virginia town on August 12, 2017. "This trial acutely and minutely relived that weekend, so that has been very hard for many folks".

A handful of Charlottesville residents filed a civil lawsuit against the organizers of the rally under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.

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