Dec 5, 2018, 3:21 PM ET

Charlottesville driver hinted counterprotesters 'need to be careful' before car ramming

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The man accused of ramming his car into a crowd of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last summer -- killing Heather Heyer -- referred to Heyer's mother in a recorded jailhouse phone call as a "communist" and "one of those anti-white supremacists."

Suspect James Alex Fields made the comment to his mother during a call that was played in court as part of the ongoing trial for Heyer's murder.

When Fields' mother responded, she noted how Susan Bro "lost her daughter."

"It doesn't f------ matter," Fields said, according to ABC affiliate WVAW.

PHOTO: James Alex Fields Jr. is pictured in an undated photo released by the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail
James Alex Fields Jr. is pictured in an undated photo released by the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

In Aug. 2017, a group of white nationalists, which included neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members, descended onto Charlottesville, spurred by the city's plans to remove a Confederate statue from a downtown park. Violence broke out as counter protesters clashed with white nationalists, prompting Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency.

Earlier in the jailhouse call with his mother, Fields claimed that he was "mobbed by a violent group of terrorists" at the Aug. 12, 2017, Unite the Right rally.

"They were waving the ISIS flag... they support them," Fields said of the counter protesters.

The recording was one of two recorded calls played for the Charlottesville jury on Tuesday.

They were also showed texts that Fields sent his mother up to and during the rally. On Aug. 11, the day before the rally, she told him to be careful and he responded "We're not the one [sic] who need to be careful," along with a picture of Adolf Hitler.

The judge ruled that the text would be allowed to be entered as evidence, despite Fields' lawyer's protests, saying that it shows intent or motive of malice, according to The Associated Press.

PHOTO: People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12, 2017. Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP
People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12, 2017.

The jury was also shown a meme that Fields posted to his Instagram account three months before the Charlottesville rally which showed bodies being thrown into the air after a car hit a crowd of people, according to the AP.

Fields is on trial for the death and injuries he is accused of causing when he drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters.

His lawyer said in court that Fields was "scared to death" after the Unite the Right rally turned violent and clashes had broken out between protesters and counterprotesters, and they have started to build their case around the claim that he was acting in self defense.

PHOTO: Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a car rammed into a crowd during a march in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 13, 2017.Facebook
Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a car rammed into a crowd during a march in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 13, 2017.

Body camera footage from the officer who apprehended Fields after the car ramming was also shown in court. According to The Richmond Times Dispatch, Fields could be heard saying "I didn’t want to hurt people. I thought they were attacking me."

The 10 charges he is facing in this trial in the Charlottesville City Circuit Court are separate from the 30 federal charges he faces that relate to hate crimes. One of those federal charges is eligible for the death penalty. He has entered a not guilty plea in both the Circuit Court case and to the federal charges.

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  • rmfairfax35

    He didn’t want to hurt anyone? His car was a good 1000 ft away from protestors facing the opposite direction when he hit the gas and ran them over.

  • Tony Radcliffe-Hung

    You can see the entitlement of the gun crowd folks in this "Self defense" claim.

  • Tony Radcliffe-Hung

    "I didn't mean to shoot those white supremicists. I just thought they were all morons and I was simply defending the human race from stupidity."

    Will that fly?

  • allison kirkpatric

    Trump supporter.

  • Joe Leggio

    Yeah, just the other day a whole crowd of unarmed people looked like they were planning to do violence to my five ton truck . . . the real crime here is that a leader in the White House didn't come out and condemn White Supremacists invading a peaceful city with torches, hate, and violence months in the planning on the web.

  • Gargos

    Gotta love all of these texts and social media posts of one of the "good guys on the other side". /s

  • Julia Mercado

    Why, why do these people plead not guilty? They are proud of what they have done.

  • cephalo

    This pathetic life was bound to end in murder. No empathy, strong sense of entitlement. He was either going to end up in prison or perhaps a small chance be President of the U.S.

  • Arc_Fault_One

    There was a professor that made a video and posted it to YouTube right after this happened saying him and his buddies chased this guy into the crowd. They were armed with ar 15s. I bet that's what he's claiming as self defense.

  • Jim in Texas

    Weak, angry, powerless, middle class white boy, driving a big muscle car, taking out his own mental crap on other people. Of course, this could probably describe 2/3rds of the guys there that day.

  • Thomas

    I like it when criminals provide evidence of their crimes. Most considerate of them

  • Gumby4417

    Self defense? That’s a sick joke. Don’t claim he’s crazy, either. He was perfectly sane when he drove his car into the crowd. He didn’t do it because he’s crazy - he did it because he’s a violent bigot.

  • Don'tBotherMe

    I can't wait to see him cry when he's found guilty.

  • BWitched

    I don't know about self defense but he sure is a candidate for an insanity plea. This guy is a whack job

  • cyric0

    If the mob was violent like he claimed don't you think he'd be dragged out and beaten to within an inch of his life after he drove into them? Yeah didn't think so.

  • Dicazi

    ISIS? Really?

  • JuPMod

    Suuuure, Fields. Self-defense? Those protesters were no where near you. You drove down that street full speed with intent to harm these people on purpose. Your defense is not going to convince anyone. You're going to be be 'hanged' over this.

  • TB

    I hope they push for the maximum for this guy. There is ZERO excuses for the horrible thing he did.

    Hmm...I wonder if he'll get a pardon...

  • Prophet With Honor

    He's done.

  • adamrussell

    You look at people like this and see white 'supremacy' actually defending white degeneracy.

  • Liars N. Fools

    Fry him and prepare him for Hell.

  • j penske

    He needs to be locked up for life... without parole. He fully intended on causing harm.

  • Holmes

    Let him preach that stuff in general population...

  • Chuck

    Self defense? What a clueless moron. I think some attorneys enjoy lying for their clients. These people know better. Afraid for his life. So lets go drive a car through a bunch of protesters. Don't leave, that would be too easy. I hope the jury isn't as stupid as him and his lawyers.

  • VikingHokie

    Yep the Nazi didnt care that he killed someone, he went looking for trouble and found it