James Fields Gets First Degree Murder Conviction

James Fields Gets First Degree Murder Conviction

James Fields Gets First Degree Murder Conviction

You may have forgotten the name James Alex Fields, Jr., in the year after the deadly Charlottesville, VA, clashes occurred. But the people of that town didn’t forget. And on Friday a court in that town found James Fields guilty of first degree murder in the death of Heather Heyer.

Fields was part of a “Unite the Right” rally that was protesting the removal of Confederate monuments from public places. Heather Heyer was part of a group that was counter-protesting. Tempers flared, with some people on both sides spoiling for a fight. Then this happened:

James Fields was driving that car, and in the melee he struck and killed Heather Heyer. Nineteen others were injured. At first police arrested him on suspicion of second-degree murder, but that changed quickly after the police chief pronounced the car strike as ‘premeditated.’

Now Fields may face life in prison after his first degree conviction.

From all appearances, Fields looks like a real piece of work, as they say.

While he never had a criminal record, he did have brushes with the law. For example, in 2011 his mother, Samantha Bloom, had twice called police, saying that he beat her and threatened her with a knife. A year earlier Fields had also struck her and locked her in a bathroom when she told him to stop playing video games.

Before leaving his Ohio home in August, 2017, for Charlottesville, Fields dropped off his cat with Bloom. He told her that he was going to an ‘alt-right’ rally in Virginia. She said she didn’t know what ‘alt-right’ meant, but, being a mom, told him to ‘be careful.’ She also admonished him to participate “peacefully.”

James Fields alt-right rally

Credit: wikimedia commons. 

But whether Bloom was aware or not, her son was beyond ‘alt-right.’ He was now a full-bore Nazi who came ready to rumble.

Of course his defense attorneys claimed that Fields was panicking and acting in ‘self-defense.’ Someone hit him earlier in the day with what he thought was a bottle of urine. He ‘feared for his safety’ because of the counter-protestors nearby. As his attorney said:

“He thought people were after him. The difference between a joyful crowd and an angry mob lies in the beholder.”

But the prosecution brought out some damning evidence of their own. Like the comments James Fields made about Heather Heyer’s mother.

In December, 2017, Fields spoke with his mother from his jail cell. That’s when he called Susan Bro, Heyer’s mother, an “anti-white communist.”

When Bloom reminded her son that Bro had “lost her daughter,” Fields replied:

“That doesn’t f**king matter. She is, she is the enemy, mother.”

Now James Fields must wait for the jury to begin the sentencing phase, which will start on Monday. He may face life in prison, which he deserves.

Those who want to maintain Confederate monuments have the right to rally to their defense. And those who oppose them also have a right to protest against them. But no one has the right to cross the line by killing a political opponent. That’s the stuff of totalitarianism.


Featured image: cropped; Anthony Crider at flickr.com.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • GWB says:

    That’s the stuff of totalitarianism.
    Ummm, no, that isn’t “totalitarianism”. It’s murder and hate and (maybe) mob rule, but it isn’t totalitarianism. Not unless the state is doing it.

    My only concerns are 1) that the venue should have been changed and 2) I’ve never seen a video that showed the car before it hit the crowd. Given anti-fa’s tendency to mob action and things like pounding on cars, I’ve never seen evidence for or against his claim that he was frightened/panicked. (The one time I’ve seen a claim of evidence was showing the crowd descending on him before he backed up – but that’s after he drove into folks.) Again, those are concerns, not things I’m jumping up and down about as “travesties of justice” or anything.

    Oh, one other bit: him saying after arrest that she “was the enemy” does NOT constitute premeditation. So, I’m hoping they used some other evidence to establish that prerequisite for first-degree. (Like maybe evidence of him not being attacked until after he drove into the crowd.)

    While I agree that this guy is not a likable defendant, we should remember that Lady Justice is blindfolded for exactly that reason – she is supposed to be blind to everything except the evidence laid on her scales. One of the rots that has crept into our body politic in the last number of years is a willingness to convict someone for their unlikability, rather than solely on the evidence of actual wrong-doing. Let’s do our part to make sure that folks convicted are convicted for the right reasons,.

    • Kim Hirsch says:

      Yeah, it is a totalitarian mindset. The 20th century is replete with tyrants — Hitler, Lenin, Mao — who used thugs and mob rule to usher in their totalitarian governments. The mob worships their dear leaders and think they have free rein to commit violence on his behalf. The difference here is that Trump never ordered their violence, unlike the aforementioned three.

      And yes, they used plenty of other evidence for the first degree conviction — several eyewitnesses to the attack, the police chief’s report among others. I chose not to list them in the post. The phone call I discussed was the most recent evidence revealed, being publicized on Thursday.

      Remember that attorneys also establish motive and intent. This guy had been a walking poster boy for Nazism and since high school, so he had plenty of motive to attack a crowd that angered him and whom he felt were inferior to him. Just what does a Nazi wannabe do to someone he thinks is “the enemy?”

      Justice was well-served here.

  • scott says:

    Agree with you both that this guy seems to be a Nazi POS.. but like GWB said, justice should be blind, and his affiliations irrelevant, unless they were the reason for what happened. There was an Antifa affilitated professor there, Dwayne Dixon (i think), that admitted he threatened this guy with his AR just before the crash.
    I agree that there should have been a change of venue, and that an appeal will have traction because of the bias against an unlikable defendant, with a young female victim.
    That said, if he actually gets a FAIR trial and is found guilty, then lock him in a hole.

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