James Alex Fields, the neo-Nazi who carried out a deadly car attack at the 2017 Charlottesville rally has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Heather Heyer.
The defendant’s attorneys said their client was “in a state of panic” as clashes erupted during the rally, and that he was simply acting in self-defense when he drove his car into the crowd.
“He thought people were after him,” Fields’ lawyer Denise Lunsford said. “The difference between a joyful crowd and an angry mob lies in the beholder.”
Prosecutors argued that Fields intended to hurt the counterprotestors, as his social media accounts featured memes of protestors getting hit by cars.
“His Instagram posts tell you exactly what he thinks of the type of people who take to the streets to protest,” prosecutor Nina-Alice Antony said. “And when he passes that happy crowd in front of him on Fourth Street, those images pop into his head and he seizes on the opportunity to make his Instagram posts a reality.”
In total, Fields was found guilty of 10 charges, including aggravated malicious wounding as well as hit and run. He is expected to return to court Monday for the sentencing phase. Fields is also facing 30 federal hate crime charges, which could result in the death penalty.
He should absolutely get the death penalt.