Charlottesville killer sentenced to life in prison

Shani Smith


James A. Fields Jr. is a diagnosed schizophrenic Neo-Nazi who was charged with five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding, second-degree murder, and leaving the scene of the chaotic Charlottesville riot on December 11th. After a four hour trial in Charlottesville Circuit Court, a jury of five men and seven women recommended the life sentence. The judge sentenced Fields to said sentence in addition to four hundred nineteen years in prison.

August 12th, 2017 was a tragic day of violence and anguish. After Field’s 2010 Dodge Challenger crashed into a crowd of pedestrians, nineteen loved ones suffered from major injuries, and an innocent life was lost. Heather Heyer was a passionate activist who was protesting against white supremacist ¨Unite the Right” when she was killed in the ambush. NBC News released the following statements of close friend and coworker Marissa Blair:

She would never back down from what she believed in. And that’s what she died doing, she died fighting for what she believed in. Heather was a sweet, sweet soul and she’ll never be replaced, she’ll never be forgotten.”

Numerous Neo-Nazis also expressed a distaste with his actions.Even after acknowledging the severity of these crimes, the defense argued that the convict was mentally unstable, and was acting in self-defense. As a toddler, Fields displayed several violent outbursts, which resulted in being expelled from preschool in 1996. His childhood in northern Kentucky consisted of multiple 911 calls by his frightened mother, who was repeatedly threatened and abused by the young teen. Furthermore, teachers and students from his local high school claim that he developed a special interest in the genocide orchestrated by Adolf Hitler. Despite their claims, the twenty-six-year-old denied any racist motives and pled not guilty to federal hate crime charges.

Fields was both drafted and discharged from the army in August 2015 and spent the majority of his time playing video games and working a minimum wage security job in Ohio.

He was on vacation at the time of the attack.

Last year, the mother of Heather Heyes shared many powerful remarks regarding the courage her daughter possessed and the legacy she left behind. “I think the reason that what happened to Heather has struck a chord is because we know that what she did is achievable,” said Susan Bro. “We don’t all have to die. We don’t all have to sacrifice our lives. They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her.”


Memorial held in remembrance of Heather Heyes, courtesy of Shadow Proof