By Kennedy Calise
On August 11, 2017, there was a neo-nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. James Alex Fields Jr. ran over many counter protesters against Nazis. He killed one woman named Heather Heyer who was protesting, injuring 35 other people.
On December 4, 2018, he was charged with 419 years in first-degree murder. According to nbcnews.com, He was charged seventy years for five malicious wounding charges, twenty for each of three malicious charges and nine for leaving the scene of an accident. The also recommended 480,000 in fines. The jury recommended life in prison.
During the jury, testimonies from victims especially from Sarah Bro who was the mother of Heather Heyer. Then, the jury also let other victims speak about the trauma and how it affected them not only physically but mentally. Fields’ past was also explained during his trial. The Roanoke Times states, “James Alex Fields Jr. was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder at 6 and had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital twice by the time he was 10, according to a forensic psychology expert.” His former educator said he was known to be fascinated with Nazis and idolizing Adolf Hitler in high school.
For Fields, he was charged not only life in prison. From huffingtonpost, the jury also recommended for him to be a fined nearly half of a million dollars for the death of Heather Heyer. From CNN, Heather Heyer’s mom Susan Bro says, “This was real people. There are real consequences to what you did. I’m sorry you’ve chosen to do that. You have ruined your life and you’ve disturbed mine, but you took my child from me.”
“And I’m going to be the voice that she can no longer be. You gave us a national forum, and maybe I should thank you for that, but I can’t. I’d rather have my child.”