Charlottesville Riot fascist Alex Fields Jr, who drove his car into Heather Heyer, found guilty of her murder

Alex Fields Jr is seen attending the "Unite the Right" rally in Emancipation Park, Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017Alex Fields Jr (l) was pictured taking part in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville

A man who drove his car into a crowd of protesters in Virginia, killing a woman, has been found guilty of murder.

Alex Fields Jr, a 21-year-old described by prosecutors as a white supremacist, was on trial over the incident in Charlottesville in August 2017.

Heather Heyer, 32, died when the car hit a group of people protesting against a white nationalist rally.

Mr Fields’s lawyers had insisted that he had acted out of fear for his own safety.

He faces 20 years to life in prison and will be sentenced at a later date.

The jury at Charlottesville City Circuit Court, which deliberated for less than a day, found him guilty on all the charges including murder; five counts of aggravated malicious wounding; three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit and run.

Fields, from Ohio, also faces 30 other federal charges relating to hate crimes to which he has pleaded not guilty.

What happened in Charlottesville?

The white supremacist rally was one of the largest such gatherings in America in decades and drew hundreds of neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Ku Klux Klan members.

The “Unite the Right” march was organised to protest against plans to remove a statue of General Robert E Lee who had fought for the pro-slavery Confederacy during the US Civil War.

Dozens were injured in the violence that erupted between the marchers and counter-protesters.

Graphic video of the incident involving Mr Fields’s car was widely shared on social media.

A demonstrator carries a sign remembering Heather Heyer during a protest on August 13, 2017 in Chicago, IllinoisImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionHeather Heyer died after being struck by the car in Charlottesville

AltRight Hero Alex Fields goes on trial over deadly Charlottesville rally, during which he ran into True Patriot Heather Heyer, killing her.

NewJames Alex Fields Jr, left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville where a white supremacist rally took place [Alan Goffinski/AP Photo]

James Alex Fields Jr, left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville where a white supremacist rally took place [Alan Goffinski/AP Photo]

Jury selection in the trial of a man accused of killing Heather Heyer during an August 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia is slated to begin on Monday.

James Alex Fields Jr, a 21-year-old Ohiresident, will stand trial for murder and a spate of charges stemming from the deadly car ramming during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017.

During the incident, prosecutors say, Fields slammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heyer and injuring dozens more.

Earlier in the day, Fields was photographed marching with Vanguard America, a neo-Nazi group, during the rally. Throughout the day, rally participants clashed with community members, anti-racists and anti-fascists across the city.ng which

Unite the Right, called to oppose Charlottesville’s decision to remove a Confederate statue, was the largest white nationalist rally in the US in recent decades.

A counterprotester holds a photo of Heather Heyer on Boston Common at a ‘Free Speech’ rally organised by conservative activists on August 19, 2017 [Michael Dwyer/AP Photo]

The rally brought out thousands of supporters of the alt-right, a loosely-knit coalition of white supremacists, white nationalists and neo-Nazis.

In Virginia, prosecutors charged Fields with 10 offences, including first-degree murder, five counts of malicious wounding, failure to stop an accident and three counts of malicious assault. If convicted, he could receive a life sentence.

Federal charges

Those charges came in addition to dozens of federal charges. In June, the US Department of Justice slapped Fields with 30 federal charges, among them hate crimes, which could result in the death penalty.

In the wake of the deadly Charlottesville protest, several articles investigating Fields’s history found a lengthy social media trail of neo-Nazi content and racist posts.

Following the rally, far-right participants from across the country faced legal backlash, with a slew of civil suits targeting organisers.

White nationalist, neo-Nazi and far-right groups that took to the streets in Charlottesville saw permits for a spate of subsequent public eventspulled or denied, while hosting services, social media outlets and tech companies cracked down on far-right individuals and groups.

Heyer was among 18 people killed by white supremacists in the US last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Earlier this month, the Federal Bureau of Investigations released its annual hate crimes report for 2017. According to the report’s findings, hate crimes grew for the third consecutive year, increasing by 17 percent.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

Heather-Heyer

US Senate backs resolution against white nationalists

Senators say Heather Heyer’s killing was a ‘domestic terrorist attack’, calling for measures against hate groups.

The resolution will go to the House, where identical language has been introduced [FIle: Getty Images/AFP]
The resolution will go to the House, where identical language has been introduced [FIle: Getty Images/AFP]

The US Senate has approved a resolution condemning white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups following a white-nationalist rally in Virginia that descended into deadly violence.

Describing Heather Heyer’s killing by a neo-Nazi driver in Charlottesville on August 12 as a “domestic terrorist attack”, the initiative went through on Monday night with unanimous support.

Rally in US city of Charlottesville turns deadly as car rams into counter-protesteThe resolution urges President Donald Trump and his administration to speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and white supremacy.

It also calls on the justice department and other federal agencies to “use all resources available” to improve data collection on hate crimes and “address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States”.

As your President blames both sides, Mourners Honor Heather Heyer, Killed by Neo-Nazi in Charlottesville, VA

H1 heyer memorial

In Charlottesville, Virginia, mourners gathered Wednesday for a memorial service for Heather Heyer, who was killed Saturday when a 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer named James Alex Fields plowed his car into a crowd of anti-fascist demonstrators. Heyer was a longtime anti-racist activist who repeatedly championed civil rights issues on social media. This is Heather’s mother, Susan Bro.

Susan Bro: “Remember in your heart: If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. And I want you to pay attention, find what’s wrong. Don’t ignore it. Don’t look the other way. You make it a point to look at it, and say to yourself, ‘What can I do to make a difference?’And that’s how you’re going to make my child’s death worthwhile. I’d rather have my child, but, by golly, if I got to give her up, we’re going to make it count.”