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Guilty plea in 2017 Charlottesville car attack

The man convicted for a fatal 2017 car attack during a white nationalist rally will not face the death penalty.

James Alex Fields pleaded guilty to 29 federal hate crimes Wednesday.

Fields drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of protesters during a rally in Charlottesville nearly two years ago, more than two dozen protesters were injured.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal, died from injuries suffered in what U.S. attorney Thomas Cullen called a “hate-inspired act of domestic terrorism.”

In December a Virginia jury convicted 21-year-old Fields on numerous charges, including first-degree murder.

Because of his guilty plea, Fields will not face the death penalty.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen said, “Given all of the facts and circumstances, we believed that life imprisonment – or the potential life imprisonment – was an acceptable result.”

Attorney General William Barr issued a statement saying that following this month’s mass murder in New Zealand, the U.S. “Can have zero tolerance for violence on the basis of race, religion or association with people of other races and religions.”


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