(NBC News) The driver who plowed his car into a group of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, killing one and injuring dozens, was sentenced Friday to life in prison on federal hate crime charges.
James Alex Fields Jr. pleaded guilty to 29 of 30 hate crime charges in March in a plea deal to avoid the death penalty for murdering civil rights activist Heather Heyer and injuring more than 30 others when he intentionally mowed them down with his car on a one-way street on Aug. 12, 2017.
The 30th charge, which included a possible death sentence, was dropped. U.S. Attorney General William Barr directed and permitted prosecutors not to seek the death penalty.
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