Charlottesville jury hears from victims as it shifts to sentencing recommendation

A Charlottesville, Va., jury on Monday heard testimony from multiple victims in the 2017 car attack at a white supremacist rally that left counterprotester Heather Heyer dead. 

Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, was among the four people to testify as the trial moved to the first day of its sentencing phase, according to The Daily Progress. 

Bro told jurors on Monday that Heyer's death has left her family "forever scarred," according to The Associated Press.

“Some days I can’t do anything but cry and sit and stare as the grief overtakes me,” she said.

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James Alex Fields Jr. was convicted of first-degree murder last week for driving a car into a crowd of counterprotesters at the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally and killing Heyer. Fields, who faces up to life in prison and also still faces separate federal hate crime charges, was at the rally in support of white supremacists.

Star Peterson, who was injured in the attack, told jurors on Monday that she hasn't been able to work in the past year and a half and said she has had five surgeries, with a sixth scheduled for the spring.

Peterson also told jurors that her child has suffered emotional trauma, according to The Daily Progress.

“A 7-year-old shouldn’t have to understand that there is so much evil in the world that someone would intentionally drive into us with a car,” she said.

Another survivor of the attack, Wednesday Bowie, said that Charlottesville stood up to racism, despite Fields's attack.

“Mr. Fields wanted to destroy us that day,” Bowie said, according to The Daily Progress. “We are, in his words, the enemy, just for standing up against racism that day.”

The jury will give a sentencing recommendation for Fields this week, and Judge Richard Moore will hand down the official sentence at a later date.