In August 2017, Mr. Fields traveled from Ohio to attend the Unite the Right rally, where swastika-toting white supremacists swarmed the streets and clashed with counterprotesters. In an attack that killed a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, Mr. Fields sped down a narrow street packed with counterprotesters, many who were on their way home after the authorities shut down the demonstration.I wonder if Fields had a competent defense. He did not testify in his own defense.
The jury’s complete sentence recommendation included life in prison for first-degree murder, as well as 419 years of prison time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for the lesser charges. Mr. Fields faces a second trial on federal hate crime charges, which could result in the death penalty.
Usually defendants do not testify, but what did he have to lose? Even if he is a lousy witness, he might convince jurors that this was not premeditated murder.
I saw the video recording, and it was ambiguous as to whether he was acting deliberately, or responding in panic to rioters.
Heyer stood out as 4'11" and 330 pounds, but I doubt that Fields was trying to hit her.
Organizers chose Charlottesville as the site of the Unite the Right rally as a rebuke to the proposed removal of monuments to Confederate generals in the city. The protests started on the University of Virginia campus with a march of hundreds of torch-bearing demonstrators, many of them shouting phrases like, “You will not replace us,” and “Jews will not replace us.”Those organizers were gone by the time of the Fields car incident, because the city canceled the rally.
The NY Times frequently complains about someone saying “Jews will not replace us.” It refers to Jews at the NY Times and elsewhere advocating importing millions of non-whites to replace the white population.