Charlottesville Jury Convicts 'Unite The Right' Protester Who Killed Woman

Postado Dezembro 08, 2018

The white nationalist who drove his auto into a crowd protesting against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year, killing one of the counter-demonstrators, has been found guilty of first-degree murder and nine other counts.

The 10 charges Fields, 21, faced in this trial in the Charlottesville City Circuit Court are separate from the 30 federal charges he faces that relate to hate crimes.

Fields drove his 2010 Dodge Charger into the crowd of counter-protesters, killing 31-year-old Heyer and wounding 19 others.

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

In addition to murder, Fields was convicted of five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and a hit-and-run offence.

Prosecutor Nina-Alice Antony described Fields as a hate-filled man who idled his auto for three minutes before backing up and speeding his vehicle into the crowd, Fox News reported.

White nationalist Richard Spencer, who had been scheduled to speak at the Unite the Right rally, described the verdict as a "miscarriage of justice".

Fields had driven to Charlottesville from his home in OH to take part in the "Unite the Right" demonstration, which saw hundreds of neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan members march through the university town to protest the removal of a statue of a Confederate War general.

Hundreds of Ku Klux Klan members, neo-Nazis and other white nationalists, some dressed in battle gear, came to Charlottesville for one of the largest gatherings of white supremacists in a decade.

The nine-day trial featured days of emotional testimony from victims who were seriously injured in the crash, including a man who pushed his girlfriend out of the way, bearing the brunt of the impact himself, and a single mother who suffered two broken legs and a broken back.

Prosecutors portrayed Fields as an angry white supremacist motivated by hate as he plowed into the crowd, showing a text message he sent containing an image of Adolf Hitler and a meme posted on Instagram showing bodies tossed into the air after a auto plows into a crowd identified as "protesters".

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 auto plowing into a crowd, and a text message he sent his mother the day before the vehicle attack that included a photo of Adolf Hitler. When his mother pleaded with him to be careful, he replied: "we're not the one (sic) who need to be careful".

According to The Associated Press, he also told his mother while in jail that he was mobbed "by a violent group of terrorists" at the rally. He posted the meme publicly to his Instagram page and sent a similar image as a private message to a friend in May 2017.

Fields could be sentenced to life in prison for the state conviction.