Man Charged in White Nationalist Rally Killing to Argue Self-Defense - NBC New York
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Man Charged in White Nationalist Rally Killing to Argue Self-Defense

James Alex Fields Jr. is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville

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    This undated file photo shows James Alex Fields Jr. Jury selection is set to begin in the trial of Fields, accused of killing a woman during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in 2017. His trial is scheduled to begin Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Charlottesville Circuit Court.

    An Ohio man charged with killing a woman during a white nationalist rally in Virginia plans to argue that he believed he was acting in self-defense when he drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters.

    A lawyer for James Alex Fields Jr. offered a glimpse of the defense strategy as jury selection began Monday in Charlottesville Circuit Court.

    Attorney John Hill told a group of prospective jurors the jury will hear evidence that Fields "thought he was acting in self-defense." 

    Hill asked if any of the prospective jurors believe that using violence in self-defense is never appropriate. 

    Charlottesville Victim's Mother: Her Killer 'Magnified Her'

    [NATL] Heather Heyer's Mother Echoes Her Words: 'If You're Not Outraged, You're Not Paying Attention'

    The mother of Heather Heyer speaks at her daughter's memorial service: "They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her."

    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017)

    The "Unite the Right" rally on Aug. 12, 2017, was organized in part to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The event drew hundreds of white nationalists to Charlottesville. 

    Fields, of Maumee, Ohio, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. He is accused of driving his car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalists. Heyer was killed and dozens of others were injured.

    The 21-year-old Fields was described by a former teacher as an admirer of Adolf Hitler.