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James Fields Pleads Guilty To Unite The Right Rally Hate Crimes - Source Patch

Posted on Mar 28,2019
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James Fields Jr. pleaded guilty to hate crime charges for driving into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville. (Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail )

Source Patch

By Emily Leayman

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA —
Self-described white nationalist James Fields Jr., who drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters during the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, has pleaded guilty to 29 of 30 federal charges. The guilty plea did not include a federal charge that could potentially carry the death penalty.

Fields appeared in federal court Wednesday to change his plea. He previously pleaded not guilty to the federal hate crime charges, The Washington Post reported. In December, Fields was convicted of separate state murder charges in the death of activist Heather Heyer.

Fields was indicted on the following federal charges: one count of a hate crime act resulting in the death of Heyer, 28 counts of hate crime acts causing bodily injury and involving an attempt to kill, and one count of racially motivated violent interference with a federally protected activity resulting in the death of Heyer.

In the state case, Fields awaits a judge's formal sentencing after being convicted. In December, a Charlottesville jury recommended the Ohio man be sentenced to life in prison for the first-degree murder of Heyer and 419 additional years for charges of aggravated malicious wounding, malicious wounding, and leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death.

Fields had participated in the "Unite the Right" rally on Aug. 12, 2017, before driving his Dodge Challenger directly into the crowd of counter-protesters. His car struck numerous people, killing Heyer and injuring others.

Source Patch



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