The murder, malicious injuries and other convictions against James Alex Fields Jr. stemming from the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville were confirmed by the Virginia Court of Appeals on Tuesday.
“We believe that the circuit court did not err in denying the change of venue motion or admitting the memes, the image of Adolf Hitler, and the registered prison calls for proof and judgment of the circuit court is upheld, “wrote Judge Robert J. Humphreys joined by Chief Justice Marla Decker and Judge Mary Grace O’Brien in a 20-page decision.
Fields, 24, from Ohio, is serving a prison sentence following the August 12, 2017 murder of Heather Heyer, who was killed while driving her car in a crowd of counter-protesters. Eight others were seriously injured. He collided with another person with his car as he was driving away. He was convicted in a 2018 jury trial in Charlottesville Circuit Court.
Ahead of the trial, Fields’ attorneys requested a change of venue, citing extensive media coverage of the events of that day and arguing that Charlottesville had been traumatized, which Judge Richard E. Moore took under advisement as the Potential jurors were questioned for three days. period over their ability to judge the case fairly as impartial jurors.
Prosecutors, over Fields’ objections, presented memes depicting a motor vehicle violently entering a group of pedestrians, a text message from Fields to his mother with the image of Adolph Hitler attached, and tapes of two calls from Fields to his mother – during whom he called Heyer’s mother an anti-white Communist – of the prison where Fields was held prior to his trial.