Man who drove car into counter-protesters in Charlottesville convicted of murder

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An American neo-Nazi was found guilty of murder on Friday for killing a woman when ramming his vehicle into counter-protesters at a 2017 white supremacist rally that made Charlottesville a byword for racial violence under President Donald Trump.

Fields, who drove from OH to Virginia to support white nationalist demonstrators, faces up to life in prison at sentencing on Monday.

A 12-person jury of seven women and five men also found Fields guilty on charges of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury or death.

Spencer told The Associated Press that he was not "shocked" but was "appalled" by the verdict the jury delivered against James Alex Fields Jr. late Friday afternoon. Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, and eight victims are anticipated to testify before Fields' sentencing.

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"This is the best I've been in a year and a half", Bowie said. Friday was the first full day of deliberations in the trial that began last week.

In its closing argument, the commonwealth hammered home the heart of its case, that Fields was unprovoked and acted with the intent to harm people. The defense says he was in a state of panic and acted in self-defense.

Fields will be sentenced at a later date. Hundreds of Ku Klux Klan members, neo-Nazis and other white nationalists - emboldened by the election of President Donald Trump - streamed into the college town for one of the largest gatherings of white supremacists in a decade.

Illustrative: A white supremacist carrying a Nazi flag into Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017.

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The violence in Virginia fanned national debates about race and free speech, and has resonated politically and socially since.

Fields had driven to Charlottesville from his home in OH to take part in the "Unite the Right" demonstration, which saw hundreds of neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan members march through the university town to protest the removal of a statue of a Confederate War general.

Since the rally, descendants of prominent Confederate figures Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson said they want monuments of the men to be removed. "Today, we have reclaimed our streets", local activist Rosia Parker proclaimed at a Charlottesville memorial for Heyer, according to The Daily Progress.

Defense attorney Denise Lunsford urged the jury to consider the chaos of the day, including the use of tear gas and a series of street fights between white nationalists, Antifa activists and counter-protesters. The conversation about Confederate memorials continues.

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The 10 charges Fields, 21, faced in this trial in the Charlottesville City Circuit Court are separate from the 30 federal charges he faces that relate to hate crimes.