Associated Press reports that James Alex Fields Jr., the white supremacist who drove his car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters at the Charlottesville, Virginia, Unite the Right rally, killing one person and injuring more than two dozen others, was sentenced to life in prison Friday.
Fields previously admitted to deliberately driving his car into anti-racism protesters at the rally — creating the case that sparked racial tensions across the United States. USA Today reports that the 22-year-old, who will be sentenced next month on separate state charges, apologized to the judge before he was sentenced.
“I apologize for the hurt and loss I’ve caused,” he said. “Every day I think about how things could have gone differently and how I regret my actions. I’m sorry.”
But Fields did not look at any victims during his trial. Prosecutors also played jailhouse phone call recordings between Fields and his mother in 2018, in which he told her he hopes he can “get that insanity thing,” shedding doubt on his remorse.
During the case, prosecutors told a judge that Fields acted like “like a kid at Disney World” during his high school trip to a German concentration camp.
“This is where the magic happened,” Fields reportedly said at the time.
James Fields sentenced to life in prison for Charlottesville attack https://t.co/CM1tCvG194
— Rachel Weiner (@rachelweinerwp) June 28, 2019
At one point, Susan Bro, the mother of the woman, Heather Heyer, who died from Fields’ car, said she hopes Fields gets life in prison. But she also said she hopes he “can heal someday and help others heal.”
Mark Heyer, Heather’s father, read a statement before addressing the court.
“I want to publicly forgive him. It is not me, it is Christ in me,” he said.
“I’ve tried to just leave him in the hands of justice,” Susan said.
“I have been trying to move forward with making her death count for something.”
White supremacy has reportedly been on the rise. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Facebook began permanently banning members of U.K. far-right groups and leaders, including the British National Party (BNP), Britain First, and the English Defense League (EDL). YouTube is also cracking down on hateful and supremacist content, per The Inquisitr, as well as “borderline content,” which includes videos that push bogus medical cures and promote flat Earth theories.
Both Facebook and YouTube have come under fire for being slow to ban abusive and extremist content. But the reaction to some of their bans has been negative, with many conservatives and right-wing commentators claiming that the platforms are biased against their values.