Tip News

May 20, 2019

Neo-Nazi suspect in Charlottesville rampage will argue self-defense: lawyer

Neo-Nazi suspect in Charlottesville rampage will argue self-defense: lawyer
'James Fields went on trial on November 26, 2018 before the Charlottesville Circuit Court for allegedly ramming his car into counter-protesters at a 2017 white supremacist rally in the Virginia city' - By: AFP/File Brendan Smialowski

An American neo-Nazi on trial for murder will argue he was trying to defend himself when he rammed his car into a group of counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally, his lawyer said Tuesday.

The defense team of James Alex Fields Jr also plan to raise his mental health at the time of the incident and call forensic psychiatrists as their witnesses.

The 21-year-old is charged with first-degree murder over the death of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal and social activist, during the "Unite the Right" protest in August 2017.

He also faces hit-and-run charges and eight counts of causing serious injury.

Speaking on the second day of jury selection, defense lawyer John Hill said: "There will be evidence the defendant took these actions in an attempt to defend himself," and asked prospective jurors if they believed violence could ever be condoned in self-defense.

He added: "There will be testimony concerning the defendant's mental health.

"Do any of you have personal experience dealing with mental health issues?"

Another of Fields' lawyers, Denise Lunsford, listed several experts from the University of Virginia's Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy whom the defense planned to call.

Fields, wearing a dark blue suit and glasses with his hair combed neatly to one side, watched the jury attentively.

More than 100 prospective jurors were questioned over the course of Monday in a process that lasted into the night.

Speaking to prospective jurors on Tuesday morning, Judge Richard Moore asked whether any had "heard, seen or read anything about this in the media?"

When all raised their hands, he added: "Can you set these aside, or are they going to intrude on your decision making process?"

None raised their hand, though the defense team indicated they would question the jurors further separately.

Earlier, the judge said he expected to seat a jury by Wednesday.

If convicted of first degree murder Fields faces 20 years to life in prison.

The August 12, 2017 rampage in Virginia capped two days of confrontations between white supremacists protesting the removal of a Confederate statue and counter-demonstrators.

The violence shook the country, and became a symbol of the growing audacity of the far right under President Donald Trump.

Short link: https://tipnews.com/u/NzQ0MDQ=

See also:

Related articles

India gender-row sprinter Chand says she is gay

India gender-row sprinter Chand says she is gay

Top Indian sprinter Dutee Chand revealed Sunday that she is gay, becoming the first athlete from the socially conservative country to do so, and adding she feared being ostracised by her family after the admission.Chand, who was at the centre of a lengthy inte

Parents try to remove doctor in French right-to-die case

Parents try to remove doctor in French right-to-die case

The parents of a Frenchman kept alive in a vegetative state for a decade will on Monday try to have the doctor caring for their son removed before he halts life-sustaining treatment the same day, their lawyers said.The last-ditch move by the parents of Vincent

Parents appeal to French president in right-to-die case

Parents appeal to French president in right-to-die case

The parents of a Frenchman kept alive in a vegetative state for a decade appealed to President Emmanuel Macron Saturday to ensure his treatment continues, two days before his doctor plans to stop all medication.Vincent Lambert who suffered severe brain damage

Will the US Supreme Court reconsider abortion rights?

Will the US Supreme Court reconsider abortion rights?

American evangelicals have high hopes that the US Supreme Court, with its newfound conservative majority, will be tempted to chip away at its historic decision to legalize abortion.Forty-six years after its landmark Roe v Wade decision, the high court is at th



HELLO, PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO RATE THIS POST Neo-Nazi suspect in Charlottesville rampage will argue self-defense: lawyer

Sending comment Close