Neo-nazi guilty of murder over Charlottesville riots

James Alex Fields Jr

James Alex Fields Jr

In it, Fields said that he was defending himself from "a violent mob of terrorists".

President Donald Trump became part of the conversation when on the day of the rally he denounced "hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides", but in that moment didn't specifically mention the white supremacists who staged the event. Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, listened intently as the jury was polled about the verdict.

A group of about a dozen local civil rights activists stood in front of the courthouse after the verdict with their right arms raised in the air.

He was found guilty on all of the charges he was facing, ABC affiliate WSET reports, which included first-degree murder as well as eight other charges relating to injuries and one relating to fleeing the scene of an accident.

Tadrint Washington, a young African American woman who was in her Toyota Camry in the downtown area when it was rear-ended by Fields's auto, said she was struck by the joyful atmosphere.

The controversy grew when Trump said there were some "very bad people" on both sides, but that some who came out to protest the removal of Charlottesville's Robert E. Lee statue were "fine people".

James Alex Fields his vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville previous year tied to the defense of Confederate monuments.

Four other men from California described by prosecutors as members of a militant white supremacist group, Rise Above Movement, were arrested in October on federal charges of instigating violence during the Charlottesville rallies.

The defendant was known in high school for being fascinated with Nazism and Hitler, a former teacher said.

Jurors also saw a text exchange shortly before the rally in which Fields told his mother he was planning to attend, and she told him to be careful. He shared a photo of Adolf Hitler with the message: "We're not the one (sic) who need to be careful".

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.

During the trial, prosecutors provided evidence that Fields showed little remorse for the murder in a call he made to his mother in December 2017. He posted the meme publicly to his Instagram page and sent a similar image as a private message to a friend in May 2017. A video of Fields being interrogated after the crash showed him sobbing and hyperventilating after he was told a woman had died and others were seriously injured.

The jury reached their verdict at the end of its first day of deliberations following a trial lasting nearly two weeks. The jury is set to return on Monday to determine his sentence. He has been charged with a hate crime, which carries the death penalty.

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