The white supremacist neo-nazi who ran over a group of counter-protesters during the Charlottesville riot has been sentenced to life in prison for the death of Heather Heyer.
22-year-old James Fields Jr was sentenced Friday to life in federal prison after he murdered Heather Heyer in 2017 when he plowed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. Heyer was part of a group of people peacefully protesting against angry crowds of racist white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
During the court proceedings, Fields asked for a lesser sentence and apologized after the court viewed the video of him plowing his car into a crowd of peaceful protestors at the white supremacist rally on Aug. 12, 2017. Fields injured 30 people and killed Heyer, Reuters reports.
A federal judge sentenced the self-described neo-Nazi with a life sentence due to his release being “too great a risk.”
Fields was facing the death penalty after he pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges in March. However, his attorneys argued that he felt threatened and ran over the peaceful protesters to protect himself. They also mentioned his young age and alleged history of mental health issues.
Heather’s mother, Susan Bro, told reporters “theoretically, he caused a lot of harm to the white supremactist movement, for that I’m glad,”.
She also hopes her daughter is remembered as someone who stood up for her beliefs.
“The point of Heather’s death is not that she was a saint — and, Lord, my child was never a saint — but that an ordinary person can do a simple act … that can make all the difference in the world,” Bro said in an interview.