CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The mother of Heather Heyer spoke out Tuesday afternoon after a Charlottesville jury recommended a life sentence plus 419 years in prison for her daughter’s killer, James Fields Jr.
Susan Bro described her emotions moments after the recommended sentence was read.
“There are so many mixed emotions that it’s really hard to process,” said Bro. “I’m kind of running through 50 different emotions all at once.”
Friday, a Charlottesville jury convicted Fields of first-degree murder, eight counts of malicious wounding and one count of failing to stop at an accident involving a death, in the murder of 32-year-old Heyer who was counter-protesting at the “Unite the Right" rally.
“I trusted the system of justice to handle what it needed to handle. That I was not going to be consumed by hate for this young man. That I was leaving him to the hands of justice and I thank the jury for their careful and thoughtful work.”
“Justice has him where he needs to be, and my daughter is still not here, and the other survivors still have their wounds to deal with,” she added.
Monday, 16 months after her daughter was murdered, Bro finally confronted Fields while presenting a victim impact statement during the sentencing phase.
“Almost all members of the family have been in… therapy, to push back the darkness,” Bro said. “My world exploded, and I can’t go back to the way it was.”
Bro says it is now time to move forward and keeping fighting for social justice, the cause her daughter died for on August 12, 2017.
“The things that Heather died for, I’m not seeing a lot of progress in the last year and a half so let’s take heart. We have won a victory today, but keep in mind that we must, must, must put direct action to our words,” said Bro. “I’m tired of catchphrases, I’m tired of people making nice sounding words and nothing happen.”
Judge Richard Moore will formally sentence Fields on March 29. He will also decide if the sentences will run concurrently or consecutively.