Fields Trial Day 10: Jurors Finds Fields Guilty of First-Degree Murder
Jurors have found James Alex Fields, Junior guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Heather Heyer. The jury also returned guilty verdicts on all of the other charges.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Jurors have found 21-year-old James Alex Fields, Junior guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Heather Heyer.
Fields was also found guilty of nine other charges: aggravated malicious wounding (five counts), malicious wounding (three counts), and failing to stop at an accident involving a death.
The charges typically carry the following amount of prison time in Virginia:
- First-degree murder - 20 years to life
- Aggravated malicious wounding - 20 years to life
- Malicious wounding - five years to 20 years
- Hit and run - up to 10 years
The verdicts were announced in Charlottesville Circuit Court shortly after 5 p.m. Friday, December 7. The jury of seven woman and five men had begun deliberating the case at 9:42 a.m.
The charges stem from Fields driving his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counterprotesters on Fourth Street August 12, 2017. The commonwealth argued Fields had hate and violence on his mind when he drove into the crowd. Defense attorneys claimed Fields had acted out of fear.
Jurors had the option to find the Ohio man guilty of lesser charges: Second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter; Aggravated malicious wounding could be downgraded to malicious wounding or unlawful wounding.
The sentencing phase is set to get underway at 9:30 a.m. Monday, December 10. The jury will give Judge Richard Moore a recommended sentencing, but the judge will ultimately decide Fields' sentence.
Charlottesville Circuit Court scheduled a total of 18 days for the Fields trial, which got underway on November 26.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.