Suspect In Charlottesville Car Attack Faces Life In Prison
The white supremacist who drove his car into a group of counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, several months ago, has been charged with first-degree murder.
James Alex Fields Jr., 20, was arrested on August 12 for the death of 32 year old Heather Heyer, and was initially charged with second-degree murder, punishable by five to 40 years in prison. Now, Fields faces a first-degree murder charge, which carries a sentence of 20 years to life behind bars, as well as eight counts of “aggravated malicious wounding.”
According to a report from CNN, a Charlottesville district court judge announced the upgraded charge at the court hearing attended by Fields and a large group of Heyer’s family members and supporters.
The incident took place during the Unite The Right white supremacist rally that occurred in Charlottesville. Fields ended up killing Heyer, as well as injuring over 20 people, including Marcus Martin, who was in attendance at Fields’ hearing. Martin, who was marching with his fiancee and Heyer (who was a friend of theirs) had his leg broken in the attack.
“I just want to stand and ask him, ‘Why did you do that? What made you do that?'” Martin said.
Two months after the Unite The Right rally, white supremacist Richard Spencer returned to Charlottesville with a group of other white supremacists to hold a short rally at the University of Virginia.