A jury recommended life plus 419 years on Tuesday for a man convicted of killing a woman and injuring dozens when he drove his car into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
James Alex Fields Jr stood stoically with his hands folded in front of him as a court clerk read the verdict, which now must be taken under advisement by the judge, who will issue the final sentence.
Judge Richard Moore scheduled a sentencing hearing for March 29.
The jury reached its verdict after deliberating for about four hours over two days.
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.
Before issuing its recommendation, the jury asked Moore if the sentences would run consecutively or concurrently.
He replied that sentences usually run consecutively, but that jurors could recommend concurrent sentences if they choose.
The jury deliberated for just under two hours Monday after hearing emotional testimony from the mother of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal and activist who was killed when Fields rammed his car into a crowd at a ‘Unite the Right’ white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017.
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.
Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, told the jury her daughter’s death has been like an ‘an explosion in our family.
‘We are forever scarred by the pain,’ she said.