In August 2017 at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on the last day of the event, a man plowed into a crowd, which resulted in the death of a woman. That man has been formally charged for the death.
On Wednesday, a grand jury in Virginia indicted James Alex Fields Jr., 21, of Maumee, Ohio, with federal hate crimes in the death of Heather Heyer, whom he ran down with his car.
At the rally, organized by white supremacists, were protesting the removal of Robert E. Lee’s statue from a Charlottesville park, according to USA Today. That event drew publicity from across the United States, and led to a counter-protest, in which Heyer was a part.
Fields was indicted on one federal count of a hate crime that resulted in Heyer’s death. He was also charged with 28 counts of hate crimes for causing bodily injury. Those charges include involving an attempt to kill and one count of racially motivated violent interference with a federally protected activity.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions commented on the indictment, saying that “hateful ideologies will not have the last word and their adherents will not get away with violent crimes against those they target.”
The indictment “should send a clear message to every would-be criminal in America that we aggressively prosecute violent crimes of hat that threaten the core principles of our nation,” said Sessions.
According to the indictment, Fields backed up his car and, when in sight of a group of counter-protesters, drove through a stop light and plowed into them, killing Heyer, and injuring several others. He then fled the scene.
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