Charlottesville murderer praised by Trump sentenced to life in prison for 29 hate crimes
James Fields, Jr., who murdered Heather Heyer during the 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally, will spend the rest of his life in prison.
One of the neo-Nazis Trump referred to as “very fine people” after the infamous 2017 rally in Charlottesville was sentenced Friday to life in prison for committing more than two dozen hate crimes.
James Fields, Jr., an avowed neo-Nazi, rammed his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of protesters on August 12, 2017, injuring 35 people and killing one, Heather Heyer. Fields pleaded guilty in federal court to 29 hate crimes in April in a deal to avoid the death penalty, according to the Washington Post.
The August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally brought together a wide range of neo-Nazis and white supremacists who, on the eve of the rally, marched through Charlottesville with torches chanting racist and anti-Semitic slogans.
In the days and weeks that followed, Trump steadfastly refused to condemn the racism or violence of the ralliers, insisting on blaming both the neo-Nazis and crowds peacefully protesting them for the deadly outcome. Trump’s weak statements and general refusal to condemn white supremacists were widely criticized, including by the United Nations and Germany.
Trump attempted to reach out to Susan Bro, Heyer’s mother, after the attack, but she rebuffed him.
“I’m not talking to the president now after what he said about my child,” Bro said a week after the attack. “And it’s not that I saw somebody else’s tweets about him. I saw an actual clip of him at a press conference, equating the protesters — like Ms. Heyer — with the KKK and the white supremacists.”
In addition to these federal hate crimes convictions, Field was also previously found guilty of first-degree murder and other crimes by a Virginia state court. The jury in that case voted to give Fields life plus an additional 419 years in prison.
Trump has never retracted his support for “very fine people” like Fields.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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