Charlottesville Murderer Pleads Guilty To 29 Hate Crimes Charges

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The white nationalist convicted of killing Heather Heyer with his car in Virginia in 2017 pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes Wednesday, the Justice Department announced. 

James Fields Jr., a participant in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017, killed Heyer, a counterprotester, and wounded numerous others when he drove his car into a crowd. He was convicted in December of first-degree murder, aggravated malicious wounding and one count of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury or death.

Fields was charged with 30 counts of federal hate crimes in June 2018, initially pleading not guilty in July. One of the charges carries a potential death sentence, which will be dropped in exchange for his guilty plea on the other 29, according to WTOP. 

Fields admitted to targeting the crowd because of their perceived and actual race, color, national origin and religion, according to the Justice Department, and admitted he intended to kill those he injured as well.

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