So, Charlottesville rally murderer James Alex Fields Jr. apparently will never, ever, ever be seeing the light of day again as a free man.
That’s the basic reality for the 22-year-old white supremacist, who got handed a sentence of life plus 419 years for mowing down Heather Heyer and injuring dozens more with his car during a fit of rage against counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., CBS News reports.
You remember the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally: The one about which Donald Trump said there were “good people” on “both sides”?
Welp. To hear a judge and jury in Fields’ case tell it, apparently, there’s nothing good about a murderous white supremacist—except a murderous white supremacist who’s being removed from polite society for the rest of his natural life.
“Today’s verdict is based on what you did,” Judge Richard Moore told Fields while handing down the sentence that had been recommended by the jury that found Field guilty of murder, according to USA Today. “It was not a spur of the moment action.”
Moore also imposed a fine of $480,000 on Fields.
Fields was convicted of murder in Virginia state court and of hate crimes in federal court for the deadly act he committed during the skirmishes that broke out between neo-Nazis and counterprotesters during the “Unite the Right” rally in 2017.
The state jury recommended the sentence Judge Moore imposed, while as part of a plea deal with federal authorities on the hate crimes, a federal court in June, similarly, sentenced Fields to spend the rest of his life behind bars, USA Today explains.
As CBS News notes, in 2017:
Fields, an avowed white supremacist who kept a photo of Adolf Hitler on his bedside table, drove from his home in Maumee, Ohio, to attend the rally, which drew hundreds of white nationalists to Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The event also drew counterprotesters who demonstrated against the white nationalists.
Moore said he had never been involved in a case where so many people were hurt or killed at one time by one person.
Prior to Fields’ sentence being announced, victims and families of the victims, including Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, gave emotional impact statements. As USA Today reports:
Star Peterson, who was injured in the attack, began her statement by addressing Fields.
“Hello, scum,” she said. “You look like a coward now that you’re not behind the wheel of a car.”
April Muñiz, another victim, said her mental health was severely affected by Fields’ crime. She said she switches from joy to terror in a split second since those were the emotions she experienced during the attack.
“I wake up most nights screaming,” she said.
Susan Bro, Heyer’s mother, said she hopes Fields never sees the light of day outside a prison again. She said she was a survivor and she will continue her work with the Heather Heyer Foundation, which provides scholarships to people passionate about social change.