Sentencing postponed in deadly white nationalist rally

Posted at 12:27 PM, Mar 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-04 12:27:26-05

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A sentencing hearing has been delayed for a man convicted of driving his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Virginia.

James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, was convicted in December of first-degree murder in the killing of anti-racism activist Heather Heyer and multiple charges for injuries caused to others.

The jury recommended life in prison, plus 419 years.

A sentencing hearing was originally scheduled for March 29. But an online court docket entry shows the hearing has been postponed until July 15. No reason was given for the postponement.

Judge Richard Moore will decide on Fields' punishment. Judges in Virginia often go along with the jury's recommendation. Under state law, they can impose a shorter sentence but not a longer one.

Fields grew up in the Florence, Kentucky area and graduated from Randall K. Cooper High School in Union. Former classmates said he proclaimed himself as a Nazi.