The defence said in their opening statements Fields had been "scared for his life" - hoping, according to observers, if not for an outright acquittal, that the jury might find him guilty of a lesser charge such as second-degree murder. But they said it was not out of malice, rather out of fear for his own safety and confusion.
Her death came after police forced a white nationalist rally to disband after participants clashed with counter-protesters. His sentencing hearing begins Monday, according to BuzzFeed's Blake Montgomery.
Fields is the face of violent white supremacy in our country. He had just left the company of people he was with earlier and felt vulnerable by himself, Lunsford said.
Antony also referenced a text message sent by Fields the day before the rally after his mother told him to be careful.
Several victims and eyewitnesses testified against Fields, recalling events leading up to the deadly crash. Wednesday Bowie, a counter-protester in her 20s, said her pelvis was broken in six places. "We're not the one who need to be careful", Fields replied in a misspelled text message on August 11, 2017.
Antony reminded the jury of a meme Fields posted three months earlier on Instagram.
"What we have is a man who had a decision, and he decides to turn his Instagram post into reality", the prosecutor said.
Man who ran over Charlottesville protester guilty of murder
Videos from several angles and photos from the Charlottesville attack show Fields flying down Fourth Street in his vehicle, plowing into protesters, then backing up and hitting more. The image showed a crowd, identified as "protesters", being rammed by a auto, and depicted bodies being tossed in the air.
April Muñiz, 50, was on Fourth Street when Fields drove into the crowd. Muñiz attended every day of the proceedings and said the trial helped her "pull the shattered pieces of that day together".
The rally, which purported to be a defense of the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, which some in the city were trying to remove, tore at the fabric of Charlottesville even before it was held, as anti-racism activists begged city officials not to allow it, warning that there would be violence.
"They were chanting, 'Whose town?"
Federal prosecutors in June charged Fields with one count of a hate crime act resulting in Heyer's death, 28 counts of hate crime acts causing bodily injury and involving an attempt to kill, and one count of racially motivated violent interference with a federally protected activity for driving his auto into a crowd of protesters. "This trial acutely and minutely relived that weekend, so that has been very hard for many folks".
Instead of uniting the right, the rally's purported goal, it empowered a leftist political coalition that vows to confront generations of racial and economic injustice.