Second Day Of Jury Deliberations In 'Unite The Right' Trial

The defendants are accused of conspiring to commit racially motivated violence at the deadly rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

Second Day Of Jury Deliberations In 'Unite The Right' Trial
Steve Helber / AP

Monday marks a second day of jury deliberation in a trial connected to the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally involving White supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Hundreds of white nationalists descended on Charlottesville on Aug. 11-12, 2017, ostensibly to protest the city's plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

During a march on the University of Virginia campus, white nationalists surrounded counterprotesters, shouted "Jews will not replace us!" and threw burning tiki torches at them. The next day, an avowed admirer of Adolf Hitler rammed his car into a crowd, killing one woman and injuring 19.

James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio, is serving life in prison for murder and hate crimes for the car attack. He is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, which seeks monetary damages and a judgment that the defendants violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights.

The jury is being asked to decide whether two dozen white supremacists, neo-Nazis and white nationalist organizations are responsible for violence during two days of demonstrations. Jurors will also decide if the defendants are liable for compensatory compensatory and punitive damages for nine people who were physically hurt or emotionally scarred by the violence and filed a federal lawsuit.

The defendants used their closing arguments to distance themselves from Fields. Their attorneys told jurors that injuries suffered by the plaintiffs do not prove that the defendants entered into a conspiracy to commit violence.

Lawyers for the defendants have also argued that their use of racial epithets and that their blustery talk in chat rooms before the rally is protected by the First Amendment. Several defendants have testified that they resorted to violence only after they or their associates were attacked. They've blamed the violence on anti-fascist protesters known as antifa, and also each other.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.