James Alex Fields Jr. pleaded guilty Wednesday to 29 of 30 federal hate crime charges that stemmed from the deadly car attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, 2017, according to NBC News. The final charge, a potential death sentence, was dropped and Fields has been ordered to return to court July 3 to be sentenced.
Fields, 21, was convicted in December for the death of Heather Heyer, 32, and for injuring several others at the ‘Unite The Right’ Rally in December 2018 where jurors found him guilty of murder. The Department of Justice has published a press release of Fields’ guilty plea.
The charges could have come with the death penalty, however, his plea agreement dropped any possibility of that charge going through. During his appearance in court, Fields admitted he had the intention to kill other counter-protestors, not just Heyer.
“The violence in Charlottesville was an act of hate, and everyone across the country felt the impact,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. “This guilty plea underscores that we won’t stand for hate and violence in our communities. Together with our law enforcement and community partners, we’ll continue to aggressively investigate hate crimes, domestic terrorism and civil rights violations.”
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