James Fields Sentenced to Life in Prison for Death of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville – The New York Times
James Fields Jr., the white supremacist who murdered a woman two summers ago when he steered a Dodge Challenger into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., was sentenced Friday to life in federal prison.
Lawyers for Mr. Fields, 22, had pleaded for mercy, citing his difficult childhood and mental health problems. Prosecutors had sought the life sentence, arguing that Mr. Fields’s racist, anti-Semitic beliefs motivated the decision to attend the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and to attack counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others.
“The defendant’s crimes were so horrendous — and the maiming of innocents so severe — that they outweigh any factors the defendant may argue form a basis for leniency,” federal prosecutors told the judge in a sentencing memo. “This is particularly true in light of the fact that he has demonstrated that he feels no remorse for his actions and continues to espouse his hateful ideology.”
Mr. Fields was among hundreds of white supremacists who swarmed Charlottesville in August 2017 for the “Unite the Right” rally, in which they shouted anti-Semitic phrases, marched with tiki torches and attacked a racially diverse group of counterprotesters. The rally appeared to be winding down when Mr. Fields drove his car into a crowd of those counterprotesters.