James Fields Jr. faces second sentencing for Charlottesville auto attack

James Alex Fields Jr attends the Unite the Right rally in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville Virginia

James Alex Fields Jr attends the Unite the Right rally in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville Virginia

A judge in Charlottesville, Virginia followed the jury's recommendation, and formally sentenced "avowed Neo-Nazi" James Alex Fields Jr. to life in prison plus 419 years for murdering counter-protester Heather Heyer in August 2017.

Fields, sentenced to life in prison on federal hate crime charges for deliberating slamming his auto into anti-racism protesters during a white nationalist rally in Virginia is set to face a state judge who could add another life sentence, plus 419 years.

On Monday, Charlottesville Circuit Judge Richard Moore sentenced Fields to the life term plus 419 years and $480,000 in fines, in keeping with a jury's recommendation.

Heather Heyer, 32, one of the counter-demonstrators, was killed in the attack. The sentence was recommended by the jury, but state law allowed the judge to go lower than their recommendation if he saw fit.

The man who killed a female counterprotester when he rammed his vehicle into a crowd at a 2017 Charlottesville rally will not be getting out of prison in his lifetime.

Susan Bro, Heyer's mother, told Moore during her statement that she hopes Fields will find "reclamation" in prison but also that he "never sees the light of day".

"I want the court and Mr. Fields to know that after everything we've heard today that I forgive you", father Mark Heyer said. But he said Fields had received psychological treatment throughout his life and his mental health issues do not excuse his crimes. "What you did was an act of terror", Moore said. "You made the wrong ones and you caused great harm ..."

The events proved a turning point in the rise of the "alt-right", a loose alignment of fringe groups centred on white nationalism and emboldened by U.S. President Donald Trump's 2016 election.

The 419 years sentence follows James Alex Fields Jr. previously beingsentenced to life in prison on June 28 after pleading guilty to federal charges.

He joined white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other groups opposed to the city's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

During Fields' state trial, his attorneys said he was afraid after seeing violent skirmishes between white nationalists and counterprotesters. "He does have the right to appeal this case in the state court when he's sentenced Monday".

Jeanne "Star" Peterson, one of seven people who gave victim impact statements before the sentencing, called Fields "scum". In Moore's state courtroom, in addition to being found guilty of first-degree murder December 7 after a two-week trial, Fields was convicted of five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of leaving the scene of a fatal crash.