Supremacist gets life sentence on federal hate crime charges in Charlottesville attack

The white supremacist who killed a woman by plowing his car into a crowd of protesters during the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was sentenced Friday to life in prison on federal hate crime charges.

James Alex Fields Jr., 22, will serve the sentence imposed by a U.S. district judge alongside the life term he received in a Virginia state court in December for the murder of Heather Heyer.

Fields, an extremist associated with the hate group Vanguard America, pleaded guilty in March to 29 federal counts for intentionally ramming his vehicle into anti-racist counterprotesters during the white supremacist rally on Aug. 12, 2017. Each of the counts would have been punishable by life in prison, though prosecutors agreed to drop an additional charge that could have led to a death sentence.

Related: Scenes from the first anniversary of the fatal ‘Note the Right’ rally in Charlottesville. 

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Scenes from the first anniversary of the fatal 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville
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Scenes from the first anniversary of the fatal 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville
University of Virginia students protested against racism on the one-year anniversary of the Unite the Right White Supremacist Rally held in Charlottesville where dozens where injured and Heather Heyer was killed in a far-right terrorist attack. Demonstrations were held on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, VA on August 11, 2018. (Photo by Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
University of Virginia students protested against racism on the one-year anniversary of the Unite the Right White Supremacist Rally held in Charlottesville where dozens where injured and Heather Heyer was killed in a far-right terrorist attack. Demonstrations were held on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, VA on August 11, 2018. (Photo by Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
University of Virginia students protested against racism on the one-year anniversary of the Unite the Right White Supremacist Rally held in Charlottesville where dozens where injured and Heather Heyer was killed in a far-right terrorist attack. Demonstrations were held on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, VA on August 11, 2018. (Photo by Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
University of Virginia students protested against racism on the one-year anniversary of the Unite the Right White Supremacist Rally held in Charlottesville where dozens where injured and Heather Heyer was killed in a far-right terrorist attack. Demonstrations were held on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, VA on August 11, 2018. (Photo by Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
University of Virginia students protested against racism on the one-year anniversary of the Unite the Right White Supremacist Rally held in Charlottesville where dozens where injured and Heather Heyer was killed in a far-right terrorist attack. Demonstrations were held on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, VA on August 11, 2018. (Photo by Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
University of Virginia students protested against racism on the one-year anniversary of the Unite the Right White Supremacist Rally held in Charlottesville where dozens where injured and Heather Heyer was killed in a far-right terrorist attack. Demonstrations were held on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, VA on August 11, 2018. (Photo by Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
University of Virginia students protested against racism on the one-year anniversary of the Unite the Right White Supremacist Rally held in Charlottesville where dozens where injured and Heather Heyer was killed in a far-right terrorist attack. Demonstrations were held on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, VA on August 11, 2018. (Photo by Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
University of Virginia students protested against racism on the one-year anniversary of the Unite the Right White Supremacist Rally held in Charlottesville where dozens where injured and Heather Heyer was killed in a far-right terrorist attack. Demonstrations were held on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, VA on August 11, 2018. (Photo by Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
University of Virginia students protested against racism on the one-year anniversary of the Unite the Right White Supremacist Rally held in Charlottesville where dozens where injured and Heather Heyer was killed in a far-right terrorist attack. Demonstrations were held on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, VA on August 11, 2018. (Photo by Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Activists chalked out messages to leave behind in the pedestrian mall as part of their memorial to slain activist Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, VA on August 11, 2018. (Photo by Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Protesters march ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
A protester stands in front of Virginia State Police officers forming a cordon at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Virginia State Police officers form a cordon at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Virginia State Police officers form a cordon at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Virginia State Police officers form a cordon at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Police in riot gear deploy around the statue of Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee, ahead of the one year anniversary of 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Virginia State Police officers form a cordon at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Protesters march at Lambeth field at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Virginia State Police officers form a cordon at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Protesters gather near the statue of Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee, ahead of the one year anniversary of 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Protesters gather near the statue of Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee, ahead of the one year anniversary of 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Police in riot gear deploy near the statue of Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee, ahead of the one year anniversary of 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Police in riot gear deploy around the statue of Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee, ahead of the one year anniversary of 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Police in riot gear deploy near the statue of Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee, ahead of the one year anniversary of 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Police in riot gear deploy near the statue of Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee, ahead of the one year anniversary of 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Police in riot gear deploy around the statue of Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee, ahead of the one year anniversary of 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Protesters stand in front of Virginia State Police officers forming a cordon at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Protesters gather at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Police in riot gear deploy around the statue of Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee, ahead of the one year anniversary of 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Protesters march at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Marchers pass a driver at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Protesters gather at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters gather at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
A protester holds an anarchist flag during a march at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Protesters march at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters gather at Lambeth field at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Protesters gather at Lambeth field at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters gather at Lambeth field at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters gather at Lambeth field at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters gather at Lambeth field at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters march at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Protesters march at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Protesters march at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Protesters form a line at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters march at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Virginia State Police officers form a cordon at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters stand in front of Virginia State Police officers forming a cordon at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters stand in front of Virginia State Police officers forming a cordon at the University of Virginia, ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
A counter-protester holds a sign near a white nationalist-led rally marking the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville ?Unite the Right? protests, in Washington, D.C. August 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Antifa, opponents of white nationalist, Jason Kessler's group, march during a rally, marking the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville ?Unite the Right? protests in Washington, U.S., August 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Demonstrators marching with white nationalist, Jason Kessler's group, are escorted by police during a rally, marking the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville ?Unite the Right? protests in Washington, U.S., August 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Counter-protesters march in front of white nationalists being escorted by police to a rally, marking the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Washington, D.C. August 12, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
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Fields had asked for mercy due to his age and history of mental illness ahead of his sentencing.

Many of those injured in clashes at the Charlottesville rally still face recovery and lingering trauma. A fund has been set up to serve the Charlottesville community. You can donate here.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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