CBS News reports:
James Fields, Jr. has pleaded guilty to 29 federal hate crime charges for his car attack on a crowd of people on Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville. The attack killed Heather Heyer Charlottesville that killed Heather Heyer and injured many other people. As a result of the plea, the death penalty was taken off the table.
The plea deal had to be approved by U.S. Attorney General William Barr, and prosecutors obtained that approval. Fields was convicted of first-degree murder and several counts of malicious wounding during his state trial in December. He already faces a life sentence plus 419 years for that conviction.
Via Justice Department press release:
“In the aftermath of the mass murder in New Zealand earlier this month, we are reminded that a diverse and pluralistic community such as ours can have zero tolerance for violence on the basis of race, religion, or association with people of other races and religions,” Attorney General William P. Barr said.
“Prosecuting hate crimes is a priority for me as Attorney General. The defendant in this case has pled guilty to 29 hate crimes which he committed by driving his car into a crowd of protesters. These hate crimes are also acts of domestic terrorism. I want to thank the FBI for leading this investigation along with our partners with the Charlottesville Police.
“The violence in Charlottesville was an act of hate, and everyone across the country felt the impact,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “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.”
BREAKING: Man pleads guilty to federal hate crime charges in deadly car attack at white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017. https://t.co/oE8W7D3zB5
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 27, 2019