Wednesday, 3 p.m.: In court Wednesday afternoon, Judge Richard E. Moore said four more jurors are needed before the trial can move forward, which is now expected to begin Thursday morning.

Moore also noted that there have been reports of "robocalls" to local residents and businesses. He instructed all of the potential jurors to ignore the messages.

Sgt. Tony Newberry, of the Charlottesville Police Department, said there have been reports of phone calls with "hateful comments" blaming current and former city officials for the deadly incident which Fields is on trial for.

Newberry said the calls do not appear to be criminal.

"We don't want to discourage people from notifying us about it, but until something criminal happens there's not a lot we can do about it," he said, adding that the messages had been reported to state authorities.

Jury selection resumed Thursday morning with 12 jurors who were randomly selected last night for individual interviews in private.

A new group of potential jurors arrived at 1 p.m. today.

Eighteen of them were then selected for individual interviews after another round of introductions and general questions from the judge, the prosecutor and one of Fields' attorneys.

Judge Moore said the trial will likely begin Thursday morning, beginning with the prosecutors and Fields attorneys each having a chance to strike six of the 28 selected jurors for the case.

The trial will then proceed with 16 jurors, four of whom will serve as alternates in case of absence due to illness or personal emergency.


Tuesday, 9 p.m.:

As jury selection trudged forward Tuesday, the state murder trial of James Alex Fields Jr. appeared unlikely to get underway on Wednesday as scheduled. Now, opening remarks are not expected to start until Thursday at the earliest.

On Tuesday morning, Charlottesville Circuit Judge Richard E. Moore said four qualified jurors had been found the day before to hear the case against the Ohio man accused of driving a car into a crowd of people during the Aug. 12, 2017, white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and killing counterprotester Heather Heyer.

By Tuesday evening, all of the 70 people in the initial jury pool had been called to the stand. The last 12 were asked general questions by Moore and counsel and then told to return Wednesday morning for individual questions with counsel. If there is still a need for more qualified jurors, Moore said a second pool will be called.

A total of 28 qualified jurors are being sought, though only 12 individuals and four alternates actually will be selected.

Defense attorney John Hill again told potential jurors that they may hear a theory that Fields was acting in self-defense.

 - The Daily Progress


Tuesday, 4 p.m.: Judge Richard E. Moore earlier this afternoon called 13 more potential jurors forward for consideration.

Prosecutors and attorneys for Fields declined to say how many people have been confirmed for the jury, but said they expect to be done soon.

"We're running a bit behind, but making progress," Moore said earlier in the day.

Approximately 150 potential jurors have reported to court throughout the first two days of the trial. Moore has apologized several time over the last two days for the slow-moving jury selection.

Many from the jury pool have not been called forward for consideration as the prosecutors and attorneys have called on individual prospects into a conference room to ask specific questions and deliberate in private.

Moore has routinely dismissed those who have not been called up, allowing them to leave for a few hours, but not before instructing them to avoid media accounts of the trial and to not talk about the case with anyone.


Tuesday, 10:45 a.m.: 

Judge Richard E. Moore expects to have a jury picked by Wednesday to hear the case of an Ohio man charged with killing a woman and injuring several people when during a white nationalist rally last year.

Prosecutors and lawyers for James Alex Fields Jr. took turns probing the opinions of potential jurors late until the night Monday on the first day of proceedings scheduled to last three weeks.

Fields' lawyers signaled during the back-and-forth, which lasted until about 10 p.m., that they may argue he was acting in self-defense when his car rammed into a crowd of demonstrators during the Unite the Right rally on Aug. 12, 2017.

A court official told reporters that four jurors had been agreed upon so far. Twelve more jurors must be selected before the trial can move forward. The process resumed Tuesday morning with 13 prospective jurors waiting to be scrutinized.

A court official said there are approximately 240 prospective jurors for the case now. About 70 people reported for jury duty Monday, 28 of whom were selected for individual questioning in a process known as voir dire.

About 80 new prospects are expected to report to court at 2 p.m. today.

Responding to a potential juror who said his employer told him that he would need to use vacation or sick-leave for his time away from work, Judge Richard E. Moore said employees by law are allowed to be excused for jury duty.

The issue could be resolved later, he added: "We won't seat a jury until tomorrow anyway.”

Fields was in the courtroom again Tuesday as Moore, defense attorney John Hill and Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania asked the 13 prospective jurors many of the same preliminary questions they asked of other prospects yesterday.

As he did yesterday, Hill asked whether they believed violence is never an option for self-defense. The prospective jurors remained silent after the question was asked.

Fields' attorneys have said the plan to call as a witness Dwayne Dixon, a professor at the University of North Carolina and a member of the loose-knit, left-leaning protest group antifa who claimed during a guest lecture at Harvard University in October 2017 to have “shooed” Fields away with his rifle shortly before the crash.

Despite the lack of evidence connecting this event to the car attack, some have taken this as proof Fields was fleeing when his vehicle struck the crowd.

Hill also noted that there will be testimony regarding Fields' mental health.

In a trial hearing earlier this year, Fields told a judge that he is being treated for bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression and ADHD.

A Charlottesville police officer earlier this year testified that as he was being detained after the car crash, Fields said he was sorry and sobbed when he was told a woman had been killed.

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