James Fields sentenced to life in prison plus 419 years by state court

James Fields Jr., a white supremacist responsible for the fatal car attack of Aug. 12, 2017, was accused of first-degree murder and hate crimes by courts

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James Alex Fields Jr. was found guilty of driving his car into a crowd of counter protesters at the Unite the Right rally in August 2017, killing one and injuring dozens of others.

Courtesy Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail

A state court sentenced neo-Nazi James Fields Jr. to life in prison Monday, plus 419 years and $480,000 in fines due to Fields’ violent role in the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally held in Charlottesville in August 2017. Fields drove his car into counter-protestors who had been demonstrating in opposition to the white supremacist and neo-Nazi messages, killing 32-year-old Charlottesville resident Heather Heyer and injuring dozens others.

Fields was sentenced to life in prison without parole by a federal judge last month, after he pleaded guilty to 29 of 30 hate crime charges in March. 

In December, a Charlottesville jury charged Fields with counts of first-degree murder, aggravated malicious wounding, malicious wounding and leaving the scene of an accident. A state jury made the recommendation of life in prison plus 419 years, and Judge Richard Moore issued the sentence Monday.

Throughout the trial, Fields’ attorneys cited mental health issues as a mitigating factor and asked for a sentence that would allow the defendant to eventually be released from prison. However, courts found that Fields’ history of racist and anti-Semitic beliefs and footage from the scene of the attack showed the premeditated malicious intent in his actions.

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