Civil rights activists in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, are hoping the first-degree-murder conviction of a man who drove into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally will help heal their scarred community.

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail shows James Alex Fields Jr. (Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail via AP, File)
FILE – This undated file photo provided by the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail shows James Alex Fields Jr. (Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail via AP, File)

A state jury delivered a guilty verdict for James Alex Fields Jr. late Friday, rejecting his claims that he acted in self-defense during a “United the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August 2017.

Susan Bro, center, mother of Heather Heyer, is escorted down the steps of the courthouse after a guilty verdict was reached in the trial of James Alex Fields Jr. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Susan Bro, center, mother of Heather Heyer, is escorted down the steps of the courthouse after a guilty verdict was reached in the trial of James Alex Fields Jr. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Local activists raise their fists outside Charlottesville General District Court after a guilty verdict was reached in the trial of James Alex Fields Jr. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Local activists raise their fists outside Charlottesville General District Court after a guilty verdict was reached in the trial of James Alex Fields Jr. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

The crash killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Her death came after police forced the rally to disband after participants had clashed with counterdemonstrators earlier.

A man who drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia was convicted of first-degree murder for killing a woman in an attack that inflamed acial and political tensions across the country. (Dec. 7)
A man who drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia was convicted of first-degree murder for killing a woman in an attack that inflamed acial and political tensions across the country. (Dec. 7)

Charlottesville City Councilor Wes Bellamy says he hopes the guilty verdict will allow the city to move forward and to eventually heal.

Source: The Associated Press

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