White supremacist gets life in prison for deadly Charlottesville car attack

James Alex Fields Jr. sentenced to life in prison plus 419 years on July 15, 2019. (Photo: MGN / Abermarle Charlottesville Regional Jail)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (CBS)– An avowed white supremacist who drove his car into a crowd of anti-racism protestersduring a white nationalist rally in Virginia has been sentenced to life in prison on hate crime charges. James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty in March to federal hate crime charges.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal and civil rights activist, was killed in the attack. Nearly three dozen others were injured.

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Fields will be sentenced next month on separate state charges. He apologized before the judge handed down his sentence.

The “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12, 2017, drew hundreds of white nationalists to Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Fields admitted deliberately driving his car into counterprotesters who showed up to demonstrate against the white nationalists.

The case stirred racial tensions around the country.