The Latest: Judge sets March hearing for Fields

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The Latest on a jury’s recommended sentence of life plus 419 years for a man convicted of murder for driving his car into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally (all times local):

1 p.m.

A judge has set a March date to issue a sentence for a man convicted of murder for driving his car into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia last year.

Judge Richard Moore set a date of March 29 after a jury on Tuesday issued its recommendation of life plus 419 years for James Alex Fields Jr.

Advertisement

Judges in Virginia often impose the sentence recommended by juries. Under state law, they can impose lower sentences than what the jury recommends, but cannot increase them.

Last week the jury convicted Fields of first-degree murder and other charges for driving into the counterprotesters during a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, 2017. Thirty-two-year-old paralegal and activist Heather Heyer was struck and killed and others were injured.

___

12:15 p.m.

A jury has recommended life in prison plus 419 years for a man convicted of murder for driving his car into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally last year.

The jury made its recommendation on Tuesday, a day after listening to emotional statements from the mother of a woman who was killed and from numerous people who were injured. James Alex Fields Jr. plowed into the counterprotesters during a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, 2017.

The jury reached its sentencing verdict shortly before noon Tuesday, after about four hours of deliberations over two days. Jurors also recommended 70 years for each of five malicious wounding charges, 20 for each of three malicious wounding charges, and nine years on one charge of leaving the scene of an accident.

On Friday, the same jury convicted Fields of first-degree murder and other felonies, rejecting his lawyers’ arguments that he had acted in self-defense.

___

11:20 a.m.

Jurors in the trial of a man convicted of murder for driving his car into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally have asked a judge if his sentences would run consecutively or concurrently.

The jury began its second day of deliberations Tuesday on a sentencing recommendation for James Alex Fields Jr., whom they convicted last week of first-degree murder and other charges.

The jury forewoman asked Judge Richard Moore how his sentences would be imposed on the 10 charges against Fields.

Moore told jurors that they must come up with a sentencing recommendation for each charge. He said sentences normally run consecutively, but the jury can recommend concurrent sentences if it chooses.

The judge has the final say on the sentence.

Fields faces up to life on six of the 10 charges against them.

___

12:39 a.m.

A Virginia jury is set to resume deliberations on a sentencing recommendation for a man convicted of killing a woman and injuring dozens when he drove his car into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally.

Jurors spent just under two hours Monday considering a sentence for James Alex Fields Jr. They are scheduled to return Tuesday morning.

The 21-year-old Fields of Maumee, Ohio, faces up to life in prison after being convicted last week on first-degree murder and other charges.

On Monday, the jury heard emotional testimony from the mother of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal and activist who was killed. Jurors also heard from several people who suffered severe injuries.

A psychologist testifying for the defense said Fields has a long history of mental health issues, including bipolar disorder.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.