James Alex Fields Jr., the driver who plowed his car into a group at the “Unite the Right” rally, was found guilty on Friday of killing Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Fields, 21, was convicted on all counts, including first-degree murder in connection to Heyer’s death and five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and one hit and run count for injuring dozens of others with his vehicle.
Fields is a former teacher who said he was fascinated by Nazism and Hitler. He’s been on trial since November for the murder charge and still faces trial on the additional charges.
After deliberating seven hours, the jury found that Fields deliberately drove his car into the crowd after the rally, which was organized in part to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Fields’ mother and Susan Bro who is Heyer’s mother were both present in the courtroom to hear the verdict. He faces 20 years to life in prison for the murder charge. Sentencing is expected to begin Monday, when Bro and eight victims of the attack will provide testimony.
Bro did not comment to reporters as she left court. Wednesday Bowie, who was injured in the attack, said after the verdict that “I could not be more ecstatic.”
“This is the best I’ve been in a year-and-a-half,” Bowie said. She suffered a broken pelvis, among other injuries, the Associated Press reported.
When Fields’ mother said Bro had lost her daughter, Fields is heard saying that it “doesn’t matter” and called Bro “the enemy.” Prior to heading to the rally, Fields had texted his mother: “We’re not the one (sic) who needs to be careful” and included a meme of Hitler, NBC 29 reports.
Tanesha Hudson, a local activist who was at the demonstrations the day of the attack, said that many people who were there are still coping with the violence they saw.
“He had no remorse, no type of anything,” Hudson said of Fields outside of court.
“I thank every last one of those jurors for doing what they needed to do,” Hudson said. “They made the choice to express to the world, like, we don’t stand for this type of hate. At all.”