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.

PREVIOUS: A man convicted of first-degree murder for driving his car into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia faces 20 years to life in prison as jurors reconvene to consider his punishment. The panel that convicted James Alex Fields Jr. will hear more evidence Monday and then recommend a sentence to Judge Richard Moore. Fields was convicted Friday of killing Heather Heyer during last year’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, organized to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederal Gen. Robert E. Lee. The 21-year-old Fields, of Maumee, Ohio, also was found guilty of injuring dozens of others by driving into a crowd of people who were marching peacefully after the rally.

PREVIOUS: A man who drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia has been convicted of first-degree murder. In delivering its verdict late Friday afternoon, the jury rejected arguments by lawyers for James Alex Fields Jr. that he acted in self-defense. Prosecutors said Fields drove his car directly into a crowd of counterprotesters at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017, because he was angry after witnessing earlier violent clashes between the two sides. The rally was held to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Fields’ lawyers told the jury he feared for his life after witnessing the violence. The 21-year-old Fields of Maumee, Ohio, faces up to life in prison at sentencing.

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