Published: Tue, July 16, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Charlottesville auto attacker sentenced to life, plus 419 years on state charges

Charlottesville auto attacker sentenced to life, plus 419 years on state charges

James Fields was sentenced Monday to life plus 419 years for killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring 19 other people after the "Unite the Right" gathering in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017.

"I have never been involved in a case where so many people were severely injured by one person", Moore said as Fields, clad in a gray- and white-striped jail smock, sat impassively at the defendant's table.

James Fields, 22, was given the additional sentence of life plus 419 years on Monday by Judge Richard Moore after the white nationalist was convicted by a Virginia jury in December, NBC Washington reported. Fields is due to be sentenced in state court Monday, for his role in the Unite The Right rally in 2017.

A white nationalist who killed a woman by ramming his vehicle into a crowd protesting a white supremacist rally in Virginia in 2017 has received a second life sentence.

Under state law, he was allowed to go lower than the recommendation, but not higher.

Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, said in a statement read in court on Monday that she hoped Fields finds reclamation in prison.

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In federal court last month, Fields was sentenced to 29 life terms, 27 of which were made concurrent with his state sentence.

The event stirred racial tensions around the country and highlighted the polarization that continues to grip the US. Donald Trump sparked controversy when he blamed the violence at the rally on "both sides", a statement that critics saw as a refusal to condemn racism. 'I apologize for the hurt and loss I've caused, ' he said, later adding, 'Every day I think about how things could have gone differently and how I regret my actions.

A jury has recommended a sentence of life, plus 419 years. She said he probably deserved the death penalty "but it wouldn't accomplish anything".

As Fields was preparing to leave his home in Maumee, Ohio, to travel to Charlottesville the day before the rally, he received a text from a relative asking him to be careful at the rally, according to the indictment. "I would like to see him grow from a white supremacist into someone who can help bring others away from white supremacy".

After the rally, as a large group of counter-protesters marched through Charlottesville singing and laughing, Fields stopped his auto, backed up, then sped into the crowd, according to testimony from witnesses and video surveillance shown to jurors during the trial.

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