James Alex Fields Jr, the white supremacist who plowed his vehicle into a crowd of anti-racism protesters in Charlottesville, Va., killing Heather Hedley and injuring others, reportedly asked a judge for mercy prior to his sentencing.
In a memo filed to the court last week, Fields’ attorney argued his client shouldn’t spend the remainder of his life in prison.
“No amount of punishment imposed on James can repair the damage he caused to dozens of innocent people, but this court should find that retribution has limits.”
Field’s attorney said he suffered “trauma” as a child primarily from being raised by a single paraplegic mother. Adding to his difficult upbringing, Fields reportedly also learned his Jewish grandfather murdered his grandmother before killing himself.
However, prosecutors struck back stating the 22-year-old has yet to show any remorse after killing 33-year-old Heyer. They also argued Fields kept a photo of Adolf Hitler by his bedside and just last month made disparaging comments about Heyer’s mother during a prison phone call.
“Any mental health concerns raised by the defendant do not overcome the defendant’s demonstrated lack of remorse and his prior history of substantial racial animus,” prosecutors wrote.
On August 11, 2017, Heyer and many others took part in a counter-protest against the Charlottesville Unite The Right Rally. Self-proclaimed neo-Nazi, neo-Confederates and white nationalists holding Tiki torches and shouting hate speech and racial slurs gathered inside Lee Park to oppose the removal of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue.
Fields was found guilty of first-degree murder for Heyer’s death and a host of other state charges.