A white nationalist who drove his car into a crowd protesting against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year, killing one of the counterdemonstrators, was found guilty on Friday of first-degree murder and nine other counts.
The jury deliberated for about seven hours before convicting James Fields, 21, of all charges stemming from the deadly attack that occurred after police had declared an unlawful assembly and cleared a city park of white supremacists gathered for the “Unite the Right” rally.
Fields, who did not take the witness stand to defend himself, faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. The 12 members of the mostly white jury – seven women and five men – were to return to court on Monday for the start of the penalty phase of the trial.
Wearing a light-blue sweater and eyeglasses, Fields sat expressionless between his two attorneys as the verdict was pronounced, glancing briefly at spectators in the crowded courtroom.
Defense attorneys never disputed that Fields was behind the wheel of the Dodge Charger that sent bodies flying when it crashed into a crowd on Aug. 12, 2017, killing counterprotester Heather Heyer, 32 and injuring 19 others.