The attacker of a Charlottesville car has a plea-change hearing in his federal hate crime case


Fields has pleaded not guilty to federal hate crimes charges, including an alleged act that resulted in the death of 32-year-old counter-activist Heather Heyer. He also faces 28 counts of hate crimes resulting in bodily harm and attempted murder and a charge of violent racially motivated interference in an activity protected by law. the federal government.

The maximum penalty for federal charges is death.

The plea hearing is set at 14:30. AND.

The US Attorney's Office in the West Virginia District will not discuss the details of this appeal until the end of the hearing, a spokesman told CNN.

Fields' counsel did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

In December, a Virginia jury convicted Fields of the murder of Heyer, among other crimes, and recommended a life sentence.

Fields "went straight into the crowd", according to the federal government

According to the federal indictment, Fields had gone on social media before the rally on August 12, 2017 and had "expressed and promoted his belief that whites were superior to other races and peoples" , expressed support for the racial and social policies of Adolf Hitler. Germany of the Nazi era, including the Holocaust, and married the violence against African Americans, the Jewish people and members of other racial, ethnic and religious groups he considered non-white. "
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The day before the rally, while Fields was preparing to leave his home in Maumee, Ohio, to travel to Charlottesville, he had received a message from a family member asking him to pay attention, indicates the indictment.

"It is not we who need to be careful," replied Fields, enclosing a photo of Hitler, according to the indictment.

Once in Charlottesville, Fields joined the protesters who had rallied to denounce the removal of a Confederate statue of a city park in "chants promoting or expressing white supremacy and d & # 39; 39; other racist and antisemitic views, "says the indictment.

Later, while Fields was roaming the streets of Charlottesville in his Dodge Challenger, he met a crowd of people of diverse cultures and ethnicities who chanted and wore placards promoting equality, said the spokesman. indictment.

"The fields quickly accelerated, crossing a stop sign and crossing an elevated pedestrian street, before going straight into the crowd.Her vehicle stopped only when it struck another." vehicle near the intersection of Fourth and Water Streets scene, "according to the indictment.

Eliott C. McLaughlin of CNN contributed to this report.

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