On Friday evening, after seven hours of deliberation, a jury of seven women and five men found James Fields guilty of first degree murder in the death of anti-racist protester Heather Heyer in 2017. In addition, Fields was found guilty on all other counts, including five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of failing to stop at an accident involving death (i.e., “hit-and-run”).
Fields has yet to be sentenced but will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. At some point Fields will also stand trial for federal hate crime charges. If found guilty of those, Fields could be sentenced to death like fellow white supremacist terrorist Dylann Roof.
The outcome was not surprising to anyone following the trial, but in the minds of alt-right thought leaders, the 21-year-old Neo-Nazi was railroaded by the justice system as part of the government’s supposed persecution of white nationalists. On 4chan’s /pol/ board, anonymous posters were angered by the verdict, some to the point of espousing violent rhetoric.
One wrote that, “If Dwayne Dixon doesn’t get assassinated then The Alt Right are proven cucked fags and Antifa win.” Dixon is a member of the left-wing self-defense group Redneck Revolt whom white nationalists believe was somehow responsible for Fields’ car attack.
Dixon testified that he was visibly armed and told the unidentified driver of a gray “muscle car” to “Get the fuck out of here!” This alleged incident involving Dixon did not occur near the location of Fields’ attack, however, making claims of self-defense implausible at best.
Another wrote that the “judge needs to get run over.” A third called his guilty verdict an “act of war by antifa and the left” and predicted that “there will be retaliation.” In another thread, a person wrote:
James Fields being found guilty has made me pretty angry. Not angry enough to kill but I am sure it is changing some folks mind’s. Sorry James you never stood a chance with that jury. Do you guys feel like someone is going to be pushed even further after this verdict? To anyone who has a clear and unbiased look at this event it is evident to me that James was such a sperg and freaked out. Hundreds of people slamming on your car with fists , bats, some had guns …. He just freaked out man he isn’t a killer. Hell the car probably never even hit Heather. What’s your thoughts?
Heyer was, in fact, struck by Fields’ car. Her cause of death was ruled as “blunt force trauma,” and Heyer’s DNA was found on the car’s windshield. One commenter replied to the original post by calling the verdict “an attack on the white race,” and suggested that white people retaliate by voting to convict any black person accused of a crime, regardless of the evidence.
On Twitter, Jazzhands McFeels — host of the white power podcast Fash the Nation — laughably claimed that Fields was “innocent” and lamented that his life was “destroyed” by a “corrupt, illegitimate ‘justice’ system”:
On the December 9, 2018 episode of Fash the Nation, McFeels called Fields’ trial “a very difficult past couple weeks,” and said the verdict was “extremely blackpilling” and a “big, big blow.” His co-host, Marcus Halberstram, called the first degree murder conviction “pretty insane.”
Jay Lorenz, a writer for the Fash the Nation website, claimed without evidence that the “judge aided the prosecution, the defense threw the trial, and the jury was made of bloodthirsty liberals out for revenge against a political dissident”:
Lauritz von Guildhausen, one of the hosts of the racist radio show The Third Rail, wrote that the media and the city of Charlottesville wanted Fields “strung up,” and called the verdict a form of “ritual murder”:
On the December 8, 2018 episode of The Third Rail, von Guildhausen admitted that he was “angry” that he heard the news, and said that, as someone who went to Charlottesville, if he had been in Fields’ shoes he would have “floored that [gas] peddle even fucking harder” than Fields did.
His co-host Spectre called the verdict a “tragedy [sic] of justice,” and lamented how the notion that we are a “nation of laws” has been “thrown out the window by a combination of the subversion brought to the legal system by our ancient friends” — that is, the Jews — “and the Third Worldism that has crept into the body politic.”
Evan McLaren, the former head of the National Policy Institute, a floundering white nationalist think tank, called the situation “awful” and said the alt-right needed to create their own institutions to get around issues like payment processor bans. I mean, institutions that don’t collapse in on themselves within a year.
He also retweeted a comment by @CeannCinnidh hoping that “all involved in this miscarriage of justice rot in the lowest circle of Hell.” McLaren added, “This includes @realDonaldTrump and @jeffsessions”:
Matt Parrott — Traditional Worker Party spokesman-turned-national punchline — declared, “There must be and there will be a vigorous appeal of this kangaroo court sham of a trial.”
Patrick Casey, leader of the white supremacist hate group Identity Evropa, called the situation “Very tragic,” and added that he hadn’t “seen any evidence to suggest that Fields’ actions were intentional, let alone premeditated”:
White nationalist and accused domestic abuser Richard Spencer said that “looking at the evidence, I don’t see a murderer or terrorist” but rather a “young man who was in a chaotic situation and panicked, but never intended to hurt anyone.” In a follow-up tweet he fretted that Fields had been turned into a “devil and scapegoat by the media and justice system”:
Alex McNabb, a white supremacist EMT and host of The Daily Shoah, wrote that the trial “proves we have created a true science fiction dystopia in which a normal human being with a full range of emotion can instantly be convicted based on one careless or angry word.” McNabb was most likely referring to memes Fields had shared having been entered into evidence.
Mike Peinovich, another host of The Daily Shoah, called the trial a “total farce” that “confirmed that [the justice system] lacks any moral legitimacy”:
In another tweet he wrote “What a fucking sick joke this country is”:
On an episode of The People’s Square, hosted by Borzoi Boskovic and Neo-Nazi Eric Striker, Peinovich accused Fields’ defense attorneys of throwing the case, arguing that someone who “had been trying hard” could have gotten Fields acquitted, or convicted of a lesser offense.
Continuing to showcase his lack of legal knowledge, he also claimed that, had Fields been acquitted of state charges, the federal hate crimes charges he is facing “would’ve had to go away” because “you can only be guilty of a hate crime if he’s guilty of a crime.” This is simply incorrect.
After accusing the witnesses who were injured in the car attack of putting on a show in order to garner sympathy, they complained about the lack of sympathy the jurors had for Fields. Peinovich called the people of Charlottesville “emotionally stunted,” while Striker — who claimed to be a “pretty sensitive guy” — vowed that when his side takes over, it will be “horrible” for their enemies.
On Gab, a font of anti-Semitism and death threats, “Crying Nazi” Christopher Cantwell posted a deranged message in which he promised that “The next Dylann Roof, the next Robert Bowers, he’s not going to go out blasting and be out of the fight.” He added that the Left was “creating an army of fanatics who are ready to die”:
In another he shared a disturbed fantasy in which he and other white supremacists would stalk Heather Heyer’s mother in other to desecrate Heyer’s grave:
Neo-Nazi animator Emily Youcis mocked Heyer’s weight:
And human dumpster fire Billy Roper of the Shield Wall Network complained that “This system, this government, is not ours anymore”:
In another post which he directed at anti-racists, Roper posted a picture of Auschwitz that was designed to look like a Christmas card. “Wish you were here” it read: