Man who drove into crowd convicted of first-degree murder

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According to reports, avowed neo-Nazi James Fields Jr. has been convicted of first-degree murder for ramming his auto into a crowd of counter-protesters and killing one at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, VA.

Suspect James Alex Fields was on trial for the death and injuries he is accused of causing when he drove his auto into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer.

An American neo-Nazi was found guilty of murder on Friday for killing a woman when ramming his auto into counter-protesters at a 2017 white supremacist rally that made Charlottesville a byword for racial violence under President Donald Trump.

The jury reached their verdict at the end of its first day of deliberations following a trial lasting nearly two weeks.

Instead, Fields' lawyers suggested during the two-week trial that he felt intimidated by a hostile crowd and acted to protect himself. The defense claimed Fields was afraid he would be attacked after he saw large crowds closing in on two other cars.

The jury deliberated for several hours before convicting Fields, 21, of first degree murder, along with several counts of aggravated malicious wounding, malicious wounding and leaving the scene of an accident.

A group of about a dozen local civil rights activists stood in front of the courthouse after the verdict with their right arms raised in the air. Almost three dozen other people were injured. He faces between 20 years to life in prison.

New Zealand police believe missing backpacker Grace Millane was murdered
CCTV footage captured Millane leaving Andy's Burgers & Bar, on the first level of Sky City, at 7.15pm last Saturday, December 1. Detective Inspector Scott Beard said police had gathered evidence on Saturday that had "established this is a homicide".

The 12 members of the mostly white jury - seven women and five men - are set to return to court on Monday for the start of the sentencing phase of the trial.

The president drew broad criticism in the aftermath when he spoke of "blame on both sides", appearing to establish a moral equivalence between the white supremacists who came to protest the removal of a Confederate statue, and those who opposed them.

During the trial, prosecutors introduced evidence that Mr. Fields meant to commit harm when he drove from OH to attend the rally, which featured neo-Nazis bearing swastikas and Ku Klux Klan members. During the trial, prosecutors introduced into evidence Instagram posts by Fields of memes showing a auto driving into a group of people described as protesters.

The defendant was known in high school for being fascinated with Nazism and Hitler, a former teacher said.

His testimony was largely consistent with other defense witnesses, who told the court that Fields didn't appear angry or agitated before he got behind the wheel of his auto. A video of Fields being interrogated after the crash showed him sobbing and hyperventilating after he was told a woman had died and others were seriously injured.

According to The Associated Press, he also told his mother while in jail that he was mobbed "by a violent group of terrorists" at the rally.

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