DOJ Assigning New Prosecutor for Federal Case Against James Fields Jr.
The United States is filing a new motion in its federal case against James Alex Fields Junior.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The United States is filing a new motion in its federal case against James Alex Fields Junior.
Fields faces 30 federal charges in connection with an event on August 12, 2017 that left one woman dead and dozens injured. The Ohio man is facing additional charges, including first-degree murder, in the City of Charlottesville.
Monday, September 24, the U.S. filed a motion to remove Stephen Curran as an attorney of record for the federal case.
The court filing shows that Curran has left the Department of Justice (DOJ) and that the prosecution plans to replace him with Risa Berkower.
Brian McGinn, a spokesperson for the prosecution, tells NBC29 that this is just a bit of legal wrangling and it will not have much effect on the case itself.
According to McGinn, the DOJ division gets involved and provides an attorney for support: That was Curran and will now be Berkower. He says the majority of the work on Fields’ case is being handled by U.S Attorney for the Western District Thomas Cullen, as well as U.S. Attorney Chris Kavanaugh.
Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Joseph Platania says the federal filing has no bearing on the city’s case.
In June, a federal grand jury indicted Fields on one count of a hate crime act resulting in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, one count of racially motivated violent interference with a federally protected activity, and 28 counts of hate crime acts causing bodily injury and involving an attempt to kill.
Fields could face the death penalty if he is found guilty on the charge related to Heyer’s death.
A hearing in a federal courtroom is currently scheduled for December 7. Fields’ jury trial in Charlottesville Circuit Court is set to get underway on November 26.