A jury on Tuesday recommended life in prison for the man convicted of murder after driving his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last year.

James Fields, 21, was convicted last week of first-degree murder after Heather Heyer died when his car rammed into the crowd of counterprotesters in August 2017.

The jury in Virginia on Tuesday also recommended 70 years in prison for Fields for each of five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, 20 years for each of three counts of malicious wounding, 9 years for hit and run and a $100,000 fine, according to WTOP.


Defense attorneys had argued that Fields had acted in self-defense on the day his car struck the crowd of counterprotesters, who were crossing the street at an intersection at the time of the attack. Last week, video of Fields verbally insulting Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, during his time in custody was reported by a local news station.

Fields will be formally sentenced by a judge on March 29, according to WTOP. Last year's "Unite the Right" rally attracted hundreds of protesters to Charlottesville, where city officials were at the time removing a Confederate monument.

White nationalists and counterprotesters clashed in a day of violence in the city which was caught on television, culminating in Fields's arrest last year as well as the arrests of four members of a suspected white supremacist group earlier this year.

Heyer's mother has frequently spoken about harassment from white nationalists in the months since the rally, and has stated that Heyer's grave's location was kept a secret due to threatening messages.