Alleged Charlottesville Car Attacker to Claim Self-Defense at Trial

James Alex Fields—an alleged white nationalist charged with killing a woman during the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia—plans to argue that he was acting in self-defense when he drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters last year. John Hill, Fields’ attorney, revealed the defense strategy during the trial’s jury selection on Monday in Charlottesville, 15 months after hundreds of white nationalists descended on the city to protests plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The rally, met by hundreds of counter-protestors, quickly turned violent and ultimately resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer after Fields allegedly plowed into a crowd. Dozens were injured in the incident. “He thought he was acting in self-defense,” Hill told perspective jurors Monday, after asking if they believe using violence in self-defense is never appropriate.