Virginia city hopes to heal after man's murder conviction

In this handout provided by Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee Ohio poses for a mugshot after he allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters killing one and injuring 35

James Alex Fields Jr. was convicted for murder and faces at least 20 years to life in the killing of a woman during a Charlottesville, Virginia white supremacist rally.

Joshua Matthews described the moments before Fields plowed into the counterprotesters on August 12, 2017.

He was also found guilty of five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and a count of leaving the scene of an accident.

Earlier in the day, Fields was photographed marching with Vanguard America, a neo-Nazi group, during the rally.

Prosecutor Nina-Alice Antony described Fields as a hate-filled man who idled his auto for three minutes before backing up and speeding his vehicle into the crowd, Fox News reported.

Jury deliberations began briefly Thursday evening.

But prosecutor Nina Antony countered that taped phone calls from jail showed that Fields lacked empathy with his victims, calling Heyer's mother Bro an "anti-white communist". She left the courthouse without commenting.

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. After the August violence, the council voted to sell both statues, but they remain in place for now under a court injunction.

Charlottesville City Councilor Wes Bellamy says he hopes the guilty verdict will allow the city to move forward and to eventually heal.

"I'm very happy with the verdict", she said outside the courthouse.

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

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

"There does not seem to be any reasonable evidence put forward that he engaged in murderous intent", Spencer said.

Fields, a resident of Maumee, Ohio, was photographed hours before the auto attack carrying a shield with the emblem of a far-right hate group. I have a right to speak.

Hundreds of Ku Klux Klan members, neo-Nazis and other white nationalists had streamed into the college town of Charlottesville for one of the largest gatherings of white supremacists in a decade. Some dressed in battle gear.

The incident spawned the controversial response from Donald Trump where he claimed that blame could be attributed to both sides, and that there were good and bad people on both the white supremacist side and the opposition.

In order to build their case of a pre-meditated attack, prosecutors presented a text Fields sent to his mother before departing for the rally after she had asked him to be careful. "We're not the one [s] who need to be careful", he replied in a message that also included a photo of Adolf Hilter. He posted the meme publicly to his Instagram page and sent a similar image as a private message to a friend in May 2017.

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