The recorded phone conversations of James Alex Fields Jr., the man who is accused of killing protester Heather Heyer during the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally in 2017 by crashing into her (and several others) with his car, were made public in court on Tuesday, revealing strong feelings of hostility for Heyer and others demonstrating against the alt-right demonstration.
The recorded conversations of Fields were made between him and his mother while he was incarcerated at a jail facility following his arrest, a report from ABC News detailed.
Fields told his mother that he believed Heyer was “one of those anti-white supremacists,” and that she was a “communist” who came to protest against him and others at the alt-right rally. When his mother reminded him that Heyer’s mother had just lost a daughter due to the attack, Fields seemed very little to care at all about that aspect of the situation.
“It doesn’t f******* matter,” he said.
Fields told his mom that earlier in the day he was attacked by a “violent group of terrorists” at the event. He also suggested that individuals protesting the Unite the Right rally “were waving the ISIS flag,” he told his mom, adding that he believed “they support them.”
Today at the James Alex Fields trial in Charlottesville, a crash reconstruction expert told jurors Fields' car was going about 28 MPH as it approached a crowd of counter protesters. pic.twitter.com/okJFcVoy0M— Hatewatch (@Hatewatch) December 5, 2018
The jury and other individuals inside the courtroom were also made aware of text messages between Fields and his mother the day before he ran his car into the crowd of protesters. In that text exchange, his mother sent well-wishes to her son, telling him to be safe during the rally that was planned to take place the following day.
“We’re not the one [sic] who need to be careful,” Fields said in a reply text. He included in his response a picture of Adolf Hitler.
Fields is pleading “not guilty” to charges of murder and committing a hate crime in driving his vehicle through the crowd and killing Heyer. It appeared to some observers that Fields’ lawyers were building a case to defend their client by suggesting he was acting out of self-defense.
Fields was “scared to death” during the ensuing chaos that came about during the rally, lawyers suggested. They also cited body cam footage from police that contained comments from Fields moments after his arrest, according to reporting from WTOP.
“I’m sorry that — I don’t know. I didn’t want to hurt people, but I thought they were attacking me,” Fields can be heard saying in the footage.