James Fields, the 21 year old self-proclaimed Nazi who rammed his car into a group of people and killed one woman and injured others protesting the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August trial began Wednesday in Virginia with testimony to back up his “Snowflake Defense” which claimes that he acted in self-defense because he felt afraid, threatened, and endangered by the counter-protesters.
Via Raw Story:
The first defense witness, Hayden Calhoun, told the jury he had attended the rally with his girlfriend. He said he met Fields for the first time the night before the car incident, when men with torches marched in a park, chanting anti-Semitic slogans.
“The area had erupted in violence,” Calhoun said. “There was a brawl going on. Tear gas had been deployed.”
Calhoun said he and his girlfriend feared being attacked by counterprotesters.
After meeting Fields and a fourth rally attendee, Calhoun said he and his girlfriend, seeing safety in numbers, decided to walk with them. He described Field’s demeanor the night before he drove into the crowd as “calm, tired.”
In cross-examination, Calhoun told prosecutors that, despite their fears, there were “no physical attacks” on Calhoun or the other people with him
Earlier this week, jurors heard that the day before going to Charlottesville, Fields exchanged cellphone text messages with his mother suggesting the counter-protesters would “need to be careful,” and sent her an image of Adolf Hitler.
Fields, faces 10 charges for his role in the violence, including murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison if he is convicted.
Fields also faces separate federal hate crime charges, which carry a potential death sentence. He has pleaded not guilty in that case as well..