Ken AshfordCrime, Rightwing Extremism/ViolenceLeave a Comment

James Fields Jr.— who drove his car into a crowd of protesters and killed activist Heather Heyer at a white nationalist rally in Virginia in 2017—was sentenced to life in prison on Friday. The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges and admitted to deliberately driving his car into protesters. He will be sentenced separately next month on state charges. Fields reportedly apologized before the verdict was read. Fields’ lawyers argued for leniency because of his history with mental illness. Prosecutors told the judge that during a high school trip to a German concentration camp, Fields “was like a kid at Disney World,” telling classmates, “This is where the magic happened.”

Fields was initially charged with 30 counts of federal hate crimes for his actions in Charlottesville, which would have meant the death penalty. He pleaded guilty to 29 counts, taking the death penalty off the table

In 2017, hundreds of white supremacists swarmed Charlottesville, North Carolina, for a Unite the Right rally, where they walked the streets shouting anti-Semitic phrases.