Man responsible for Heather Heyer death during Unite the Right Rally denied conviction appeal


FILE – This undated file photo provided by the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail shows James Alex Fields Jr. Fields, sentenced to life in prison on federal hate crime charges for slamming his car into anti-racism protesters during a white nationalist rally in Virginia is set to be sentenced on state murder and wounding charges. Fields will be sentenced Monday, July 15, 2019, for killing one person and injuring dozens during the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017 (Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail via AP, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — James Alex Fields Jr. was convicted of first-degree murder and eight other charges in 2018 after he drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters at the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville. Fields was found responsible for Heather Heyer’s death and the injuries of many others.

Since his conviction, Fields has tried to overturn that ruling. The Associated Press reported in 2019 that Fields’ lawyer filed a notice of appeal in December 2019.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Mark Herring announced that the Court of Appeals of Virginia unanimously rejected Fields’ appeal. The convictions for one count of first-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, five counts of aggravated malicious wounding and one count of leaving the scene of an accident were upheld.

“We will never forget the mayhem, violence, hate, and death that white supremacists brought to Charlottesville for their Unite the Right Rally, and we must ensure that every individual who broke the law or incited violence on that fateful day is brought to justice” said Attorney General Herring. “My team and I will continue to do everything we can to put a stop to the white supremacist violence that we are seeing in the Commonwealth and across the country, and I will hold any racist or white supremacist accountable if they act on their hate.” 

Fields will continue serving his sentence which was set for life in prison plus 419 years and an additional fine.

Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania said his office was “pleased” to hear that the convictions were affirmed.

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