A white supremacist who rammed his car into a group of counter-protesters during a hate rally will spend the rest of his life in prison.
James A. Fields, Jr. (pictured) was sentenced Friday (June 28) by Judge Michael Urbanski in a federal courtroom located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Charlottesville was the scene of a white supremacist rally called “Unite the Right,” which was held on August 12, 2017.
A group of counter-protesters organized their rally on that same date. The two sides clashed with each another for hours on that fateful day. Then Fields, a known Neo-Nazi, got into his late model Dodge Challenger and began speeding toward the counter-protesters.
His car plowed into the group and caused major carnage as bodies to flew into the air. Images of the bedlam that unfolded were seen all over the world online. Fields’ murderous act injured 35 people and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
Heyer was employed by a local law firm. She stood valiantly with counter-protesters as they shouted out against racism. Fields was originally charged with 30 counts in his federal case. One of those charges could have sent Fields to death row.
However, in April 2019, Fields reached a deal with federal prosecutors that spared his life. He pleaded guilty June 28 to 29 federal charges and was sentenced to life. Fields also awaits a July 15 sentencing hearing in state court.
In December 2018, a Virginia jury convicted Fields of first-degree murder. The jury recommended a sentence of well over 400 years in state prison. Christopher Kavanaugh, a federal prosecutor in this case, called Fields’ actions “domestic terrorism.”
“The defendant’s crimes were so horrendous, and the maiming of innocents so severe, that they outweigh any [mitigating] factors,” Kavanaugh wrote in a sentencing memo, according to The Washington Post.
“This is particularly true in light of the fact that he has demonstrated that he feels no remorse for his actions and continues to espouse his hateful ideology,” he continued.
Fields showed no emotion as his sentence was read in U.S. District Court. Kavanaugh labeled this case correctly. Fields is a domestic terrorist. The state of Virginia is a better place now that he will never get out of prison.