James Alex Fields Jr, who plowed his auto into a crowd of counter-protesters after the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally in Virginia previous year, has been has been found guilty of the first degree murder of Heather Heyer. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and 35 others were injured, many grievously.
Prosecutors told the jury that Fields was angry after witnessing violent clashes between the two sides earlier in the day.
City leaders eventually tried to stop the rally from being held, but a judge allowed it to move forward, citing free speech rights.
Defense attorneys argued Fields had plowed into the crowd out of fear.
Flowers, candles and chalk-written messages surround a photograph of Heather Heyer on the spot where she was killed and others injured when a vehicle slammed into a crowd of people protesting against a white supremacist rally, August 16, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia. The white supremacist group was protesting the proposed removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general.
The jury deliberated for less than a day before convicting the 21-year-old of murder and several other charges stemming from the deadly confrontation that occurred after police had declared an unlawful assembly and cleared a park of white supremacists gathered for the "Unite the Right" rally.
Fields faced a jury of seven women and five men during the nine-day trial.
In its closing argument, the commonwealth hammered home the heart of its case, that Fields was unprovoked and acted with the intent to harm people.
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When Fields was brought into the courtroom Friday evening, he nodded slightly toward his mother, who was sitting nearby. In it, Fields is heard lashing out at Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, calling her a "communist" and "anti-white supremacist" who was trying to slander him, according to the NBC 29.
US President Donald Trump was strongly condemned by fellow Republicans as well as Democrats for saying afterward that "both sides" were to blame for the violence.
During the trial, prosecutors introduced evidence that Fields meant to commit harm when he drove from OH to attend the rally.
Reports coming from the trial note that some of Fields's school teachers remember him being peculiarly fascinated with Nazism and Adolf Hitler.
"I felt really comfortable with them", she said. In a text message exchange with his mother before the rally, Mr. Fields was told to "be careful".
Fields, who killed anti-racist activist Heather Heyer with his auto, now faces 20 years to life in prison, as he awaits trial for 30 federal hate crime charges and other alleged crimes.
Antony also repeatedly reminded jurors about a meme Fields posted on Instagram three months before the crash.
The jury will reconvene Monday to recommend a sentence.