Jury Recommends Life In Prison Plus 419 Years For Man Who Rammed Car Into Charlottesville Crowd

Fields was convicted of killing Heather Heyer at the 2017 Charlottesville rally.
Paula Rogo Dec, 12, 2018

A jury has recommended life in prison plus 419 years for James Fields Jr., the man who drove his car into a group of counter-protesters and fatally struck a woman at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last year.

Fields was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges for plowing his car into a crowd of protesters, injuring several people and killing Heather Heyers.

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The jury asked for 70-year sentences for each charge of aggravated malicious wounding and 20 years in prison for each count of malicious wounding. They also recommended nine years for the charge of leaving the scene of the fatal incident,  CBS19 News reports.

Fields also faces a total of up to $480,000 in fines based on the recommendations that the jury made for the charges.

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The jury made its sentencing recommendation on Tuesday following a day of testimony from Heyer’s mother and other people who were injured.

“Some days I can’t do anything but sit and cry as the grief overtakes me,” she said, according to CNN.

Fields had traveled to Charlottesville Virginia from Ohio for the “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12, 2017, to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. He was arrested shortly after the incident and charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and another count related to the hit-and-run, police said.

Judge Richard Moore is scheduled to sentence Fields on March 29, 2019. He can impose a lower sentence than recommended, but he cannot increase it.

Fields is also facing federal hate crime charges, which make him eligible for the death penalty. A date for the federal trial has yet to be set, USA Today reports.