Man who ran over Charlottesville protester guilty of murder

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Over the course of the trial prosecutor Nina-Alice Antony depicted Fields as an angry white nationalist who acted with hate and violence on August 12, 2017 when he sped into unsuspecting counterdemonstrators after the Unite the Right rally was shut down by authorities.

Prosecutors said Fields, who espoused white supremacist beliefs and took part in the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, had hate and violence on his mind when he plowed his auto into the crowd.

The 21-year-old Fields of Maumee, Ohio, faces up to life in prison at sentencing.

Fields's lawyers said that he acted over his fears for his own safety. As reported by NPR, Fields was hit with first-degree murder, along with multiple counts of aggravated malicious wounding, malicious wounding and leaving the scene of an accident.

A state jury rejected defence arguments that James Alex Fields Jr. acted in self-defence during a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017.

His testimony was largely consistent with other defense witnesses, who told the court that Fields didn't appear angry or agitated before he got behind the wheel of his vehicle.

Prosecutor Nina-Alice Antony described Fields as a hate-filled man who idled his auto for three minutes before backing up and speeding his vehicle into the crowd, Fox News reported. The trial featured emotional testimony from survivors who described devastating injuries and long, complicated recoveries.

A group of about a dozen local civil rights activists stood in front of the courthouse after the verdict with their right arms raised in the air.

Fields lives in OH with his mother. He still faces a federal trial on hate crimes that carries the possibility of the death penalty.

The rally was held to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The Charlottesville clashes stirred tensions across the country after Donald Trump said "both sides" were to blame and that there were "very fine people" among both the white supremacists and their opponents.

During the trial, prosecutors introduced evidence that Mr. Fields meant to commit harm when he drove from OH to attend the rally, which featured neo-Nazis bearing swastikas and Ku Klux Klan members.

Days prior to the deadly rally, he sent a photo of Adolf Hitler to his mother along with the text, "We're not the one [sic] who need to be careful".

The defendant was known in high school for being fascinated with Nazism and Hitler, a former teacher said. He also argued that he showed remorse. A video of Fields being interrogated after the crash showed him sobbing and hyperventilating after he was told a woman had died and others were seriously injured.

Earlier in the trial, a recording of a jailhouse phone call that Fields had with his mother in March was played in court. In another, Fields referred to the mother of the woman who was killed as a "communist" and "one of those anti-white supremacists".

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