Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Man Who Killed Heather Hayer During Charlottesville Protest Pleads For Mercy

The white supremacist who murdered a woman when he plowed his car into a group of counter-protesters at the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally is asking the judge in his case for mercy, the AP reported.

Alex Fields, Jr, who once kept a picture of Adolf Hitler by his beside, has entered the sentencing phase of his trial for the first-degree murder of Heather Heyer, for which the maximum penalty in this case is life imprisonment. He is awaiting sentencing for other charges related to his car-ramming, which injured dozens of other people.

“No amount of punishment imposed on James can repair the damage he caused to dozens of innocent people. But this Court should find that retribution has limits,” Fields’ lawyers wrote. They added that a more lenient sentence would be a “conviction that no individual is wholly defined by their worst moments.”

Prosecutors in the case have pushed back on the suggestion that Fields is anything less than an unrepentant white supremacist and anti-Semite, reporting that he has made disparaging comments about Heyer’s mother in calls from a jail pay phone. They have also said that Fields’ history of mental health issues should not prevent him from receiving the maximum sentence.

“Any mental health concerns raised by the defendant do not overcome the defendant’s demonstrated lack of remorse and his prior history of substantial racial animus,” they wrote in a memo earlier this month.

Fields is scheduled to be sentenced on June 28.

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.