Heather Heyer’s mom “content” with Fields’ life sentence

Heather Heyer

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) —The mother of a woman killed by a man who drove his car into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally says she is “content” with a jury’s recommendation that he spend the rest of his life in prison.On Tuesday, a Virginia jury recommended a sentence of life plus 419 years for James Alex Fields Jr., who was convicted last week of first-degree murder and other charges in the car attack on Aug. 12, 2017. Thirty-two-year-old paralegal and civil rights activist Heather Heyer was killed, and dozens were injured. Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, said “justice has him where he needs to be.” Judge Richard Moore scheduled sentencing for March 29. Under Virginia law, the judge can impose a lower sentence than what the jury recommends, but cannot increase it.

UPDATE: Jury recommends life in prison for Charlottesville car attack

James Fields, Jr.

UPDATE: CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – A jury has recommended life in prison plus 419 years for a man convicted of murder for driving his car into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally last year. The jury made its recommendation on Tuesday, a day after listening to emotional statements from the mother of a woman who was killed and from numerous people who were injured. James Alex Fields Jr. plowed into the counterprotesters during a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, 2017.

The jury reached its sentencing verdict shortly before noon Tuesday, after about four hours of deliberations over two days. Jurors also recommended 70 years for each of five malicious wounding charges, 20 for each of three malicious wounding charges, and nine years on one charge of leaving the scene of an accident.

On Friday, the same jury convicted Fields of first-degree murder and other felonies, rejecting his lawyers’ arguments that he had acted in self-defense.

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Virginia House Democrats pick new leader

Photo: Eileen Filler-Corn Twitter

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia House Democrats have picked Del. Eileen Filler-Corn to be their new leader, a move that could help pave the way for her to become the state’s first female House speaker. House Democrats announced Saturday they had elected Filler-Corn to replace House Minority Leader David Toscano. He had recently announced plans to step down from a leadership position. Roanoke Delegate Sam Rasoul was among others who had expressed an interest in the position.

Democrats need to win two seats next year to claim a majority. The party has done well in recent Virginia elections thanks to voter antipathy toward President Donald Trump. An ongoing legal battle could also produce a Democrat-friendly legislative map for next year’s elections.

Filler-Corn is a director of government relations at a lobbying and consulting firm and lives in Northern Virginia.

Virginia teacher fights for job over transgender controversy

WEST POINT, Va. (AP) _ A Virginia high school teacher is fighting a recommendation to be dismissed in the wake of a controversy involving a transgender student. News outlets report West Point High School French teacher Peter Vlaming was placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 3. Attorney Shawn Voyles said his client declined a female student’s request to be referred to as a male. Before a school board hearing Thursday, Voyles said Vlaming offered to use the student’s name and to avoid feminine pronouns, but the school was unwilling to accept the compromise and chose to force Vlaming to speak and act contrary to his own Christian convictions or be fired. An online petition entitled “Protect Trans Kids” said the student had been openly trans for the whole year and students were constantly correcting Vlaming.

Pair sought for $2,800 Walmart theft

Photos: Bedford PD

News release: The Town of Bedford Police Department is investigating a fraud that occurred on November 18, 2018 at approximately 3 A.M. Investigators are asking for the community’s assistance in identify two male suspects who altered bar codes on five (5) Samsung cell phones prior to purchasing them with gift cards. The gift cards used to purchase the phones were previously purchased at a separate location with a stolen debit card. After the suspects successfully purchased the cell phones at altered prices, they purchased several more gift cards using a stolen debit card. The total loss including cell phones and gift cards is $2,800. Anyone with information in reference to this Fraud or the identity of the suspects involved is asked to contact Inv. M. Alderson with the Town of Bedford Police Department.

Jury seated in James Fields, Jr. murder trial

James Fields, Jr.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ A jury has been seated in the trial of an Ohio man accused of killing a woman and injuring dozens at a white nationalist rally in Virginia last year. Jury selection was completed Thursday morning in the trial of James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio. He’s charged with first-degree murder and accused of driving his car into a crowd of counterprotesters during a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017.  Opening statements from prosecutors and Fields’ lawyers were expected to begin after a brief court recess. Fields’ lawyer has indicated Fields may claim he was acting in self-defense. Prosecutors say he intentionally plowed his car into the group. A jury of 12 regular jurors and four alternates will hear the case.

Republicans want 2019 Virginia primaries pushed back

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Republicans have asked a federal court to move Virginia’s 2019 primary schedule back three months to allow the U.S. Supreme Court to settle a redistricting lawsuit. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox Wednesday formally requested Wednesday the district court suspend efforts to redraw 11 House districts found to be racially gerrymandered. Republicans have appealed the ruling that the districts are unconstitutional to the Supreme Court in an attempt to stave off a new, more Democratic-friendly map. A Supreme Court ruling isn’t likely to come until May or June. Legislative primaries are scheduled for June 11, which Cox wants rescheduled to Sept. 10. A court-appointed expert is scheduled to file a redrawn map Dec. 7. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam said Wednesday he hopes the outstanding legal issues are quickly resolved.

Jury selection continuing slowly in white nationalist trial

James Fields, Jr.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Jury selection is continuing at a slow pace in the trial of an Ohio man accused of killing a woman during a white nationalist rally in Virginia last year.James Alex Fields Jr. is charged with first-degree murder and nine other charges for allegedly driving his car into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017. A 32-year-old woman was killed and dozens of others were injured.Jury selection began Monday in a process Judge Richard Moore described as “slow going.” The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that as of late Tuesday morning, four jurors had been agreed upon by prosecutors and Fields’ lawyers. The jury will be made up of 12 regular jurors, plus four alternates. Moore said Tuesday that he doesn’t expect to seat a jury until Wednesday.

Trial under way for man charged in white nationalist rally

James Fields, Jr.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Jury selection has begun in the trial of an Ohio man accused of killing a woman during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year. James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Fields is accused of driving his car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalists. Heyer was killed and dozens of others were injured. The “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12, 2017, was organized in part to protest  the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The event drew hundreds of white nationalists. The 21-year-old Fields was described by a former teacher as an admirer of Adolf Hitler.

Virginia police officer dies in crash

WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) — A Virginia police officer was killed after his vehicle crashed responding to a call. Winchester Police said Officer Hunter Edwards died after being involved in a single vehicle crash late Saturday. Police said Edwards was responding to a call of a fight when he crashed.

The 30-year-old is survived by a wife and stepson. Edwards served on the Winchester Police Department for four years and was a member of the department’s SWAT team. Funeral arrangements are still pending.