Heather Heyer’s Murderer Found Guilty

A jury of seven women and five men began deliberating Friday morning and took just over seven hours to reach its decision that James Alex Fields Jr., 21, of Maumee, Ohio, acted with premeditation when he backed up his 2010 Dodge Challenger and then roared it down a narrow downtown street crowded with counterprotesters, slamming into them and another car. Heather D. Heyer, 32, was killed and 35 others injured, many grievously…

Fields’s conviction followed six days of testimony in Charlottesville Circuit Court, where Heyer’s deadly injuries were detailed and survivors of the crash described the chaos and their own injuries. Jeanne Peterson, 38, who limped to the witness stand with the help of bailiffs, said she’d had five surgeries and would have another next year. Wednesday Bowie, a counterprotester in her 20s, said her pelvis was broken in six places. Marcus Martin described pushing his then-fiancee out of the Challenger’s path before he was struck.

Susan Bro, Heyer’s mother, sat near the front of the crowded courtroom every day watching the proceedings overseen by Judge Richard E. Moore. Fields’s mother, Samantha Bloom, sat in her wheelchair on the other side, an island in a sea of her son’s victims and their supporters.

For both prosecutors and Fields’s defense lawyers, the case was always about intent. Defense attorneys Denise Lunsford and John Hill did not deny Fields drove the car that killed Heyer and injured dozens. But they said it was not out of malice, rather out of fear for his own safety and confusion. They said he regretted his actions immediately, and pointed the jury to his repeated professions of sorrow shortly after his arrest and his uncontrollable sobbing when he learned of the injuries and death he had caused.

“He wasn’t angry, he was scared,” Lunsford told the jury in her closing argument.

Early in the trial the defense said there would be testimony from witnesses concerning Fields’s mental health, but those witnesses were never brought forward.

Prosecutors, though, said Fields was enraged when he drove more than 500 miles from his apartment in Ohio to take part in the rally — and later chose to act on that anger by ramming his two-door muscle car into the crowd. They described Fields “idling, watching” in his Challenger on Fourth Street and surveying a diverse and joyous crowd of marchers a block and a half away that was celebrating the cancellation of the planned rally…

Fields is a dumb thug weaponized by smarter and more powerful monsters, a stone thrown from behind a whitewashed wall. He’ll spend the rest of his miserable life paying for what he did that day. We can only hope (and work to ensure) that the white-collar racists who radicalized this mope, and the pious media bothsiderists who agreed that there were ‘good people on both sides’, face an equal retribution.

27 replies
  1. 1
    zzyzx says:

    I feel so so so bad for him…

    Oh wait, I don’t. At all

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    WereBear says:

    Glad of justice, but the ones who loaded this weapon must pay as well.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    Mary G says:

    Seven hours to decide 10 counts is pretty quick, and thank the jury very much for not dragging it out. Virginia still has the death penalty, which I oppose, but he seems he would fit the bill if anyone did.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    trollhattan says:

    Admit I forgot how very many people he hurt in addition to his murder victim. First-degree murder, is it a capital case?

    Thank goodness the NHRA isn’t out defending him as a responsible car owner.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5

    one count of failing to leave the scene of an accident involving a death (hit-and-run)

    ???

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    gwangung says:

    Throw away the key.

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    J R in WV says:

    At least I don’t expect this particular piece of slime will have any opportunities to kill or maim real people ever again. And the jury did a good job, took their time, talked it over, and did the right thing. They deserve our thanks, that’s as hard a job as civilians are ever asked to do!

    Especially in as serious case of hate as that~!!~

    ReplyReply
  8. 8

    Does this mean we can all stop saying “allegedly” when we’re talking about the shitstain?

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    Baud says:

    Good.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    @John Revolta: Presumably should be “leaving scene of accident” or similar rather than failure to do so.

    ReplyReply
  11. 11
    Bailey says:

    Countdown to Trump tweeting the shame of this verdict, again referring to him as a very “fine person?”

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    geg6 says:

    Good. Mother fucker should be sent to the Supermax for the rest of his disgusting miserable life.

    And all the organizers and enablers and talking heads that got this idiot all fired up should, too.

    Gawd, I hate these people. I hate this timeline.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    Ohio Mom says:

    I’d like to think this conviction and sentence will serve as a deterrent to would-be Fields but I know better. For one thing, they are mostly dumb lugs like he is.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    debbie says:

    Excellent. Now all I want is for him to cry like a little girl at sentencing.

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    debbie says:

    O/T, but not one peep today at NPR about Pearl Harbor. A real disappointment.

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    ruemara says:

    I’m glad. The forums these guys frequent have been filled with them discussing this as a tactic. Scared of the consequences shouldn’t be allowed to be reinterpreted as scared of protesters.

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    TenguPhule says:

    and one count of failing to leave the scene of an accident involving a death (hit-and-run)

    Methinks being found guilty of failing to run away from the scene of a crime may be going a bit too far. //

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    and one count of failing to leave the scene of an accident involving a death (hit-and-run)

    Heh.

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    TenguPhule says:

    @debbie:

    O/T, but not one peep today at NPR about Pearl Harbor. A real disappointment.

    We are merely an island in the middle of a ocean, somewhere.

    Local coverage has been good. See StarAdvertiser.

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
    NotMax says:

    @debbie

    Why? Did something happen there? Caravan show up on rafts?

    /average Dolt 45 voter

    ReplyReply
  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    Good. I want him to spend the next 50 years of his life sitting in prison, knowing that he ruined his own life because of his hatred for others. He should get to watch everyone else’s life moving on and growing while he sits in stasis thanks to his own poor decisions.

    He and his supporters are going to whine and cry that it was just one little mistake, but you know what? Some mistakes can never reversed.

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    debbie says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I would expect good local coverage for you. But there’s not even anything on my FB feed. Surprising, considering I know too many conservative war mongerers.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    rikyrah says:

    May he rot in jail 😡

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    Gary K says:

    @John Revolta: This is what Language Log calls overnegation.

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    The Pale Scot says:

    @geg6: Mother fucker should be sent to the Supermax for the rest of his disgusting miserable life.

    Uh Uh, Fed prisons are regimented, controlled, there’s no early release. But they are a lot safer than state lockup. Send him is state, put him in a pod with all the other murderers, let him find out how tough he really is.

    OOPS!! how did that happen, quote box moveth

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    TenguPhule says:

    @debbie:

    Surprising, considering I know too many conservative war mongerers.

    This year they’re on the Nazi’s side.

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    Mike G says:

    So is Trump going to pardon this example of his “very fine people” as a fuck-you to the world on his way out the WH door?

    ReplyReply

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