Detective offers graphic depiction of Charlottesville car attack scene

Published: Nov. 30, 2018 at 12:22 PM EST
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Testimony has resumed in the trial of James Alex Fields, Jr.

A Charlottesville Police Department detective spoke Friday morning about soft tissue that was found on the windshield of Fields' Dodge Challenger.

Detective Jeremy Carper said that tissue was matched to Heather Heyer's DNA.

Jurors were also shown images of the grill of the car, which was badly damaged when Fields rammed it into a crowd of protesters near the Downtown Mall on Aug. 12, 2017.

Other police evidence from the scene of the crash on Fourth and Water streets was presented, with the detective explaining how crime scenes are investigated.

One piece of that evidence was the passenger side mirror from Fields' car, which was missing when the vehicle was located on Monticello Avenue but was later found near the scene of the attack with blood stains on it.

Carper also spoke about "reddish-brown stains" that were collected at the scene, including several on the car itself.

Lizete Short, the driver of the burgundy minivan that was one of two vehicles hit in the attack, also took the stand Friday.

She explained someone in a colored vest waved for her to make a left turn from Market Street onto Fourth Street, causing her to drive into two crowds of people.

There were three other passengers in Short's vehicle, including her daughter.

She said the first crowd walking in the street had guns and Confederate flags, and "did not look very friendly."

Short also said she drove up on a friendlier crowd singing and chanting at the corner of Fourth and Water streets.

"They were saying positive things, positive enough to where I felt like I could roll the windows down," she said.

Short said she felt like the crowd was making history, and since she could not move out of the intersection, she got out of her vehicle and decided to take pictures.

Short explained it was after that moment when the crash occurred.

"It happened so fast, my van hit me," she said. "I don't remember anything after that."

Short said she ended up on the hood of her minivan and was bleeding, but does not recall much of what happened next.

Later on Friday, jurors will view aerial footage of the scene that was taken from a Virginia State Police helicopter.

This is the fifth day of the murder and malicious wounding trial against the Ohio man who attended the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville.

Jury selection, which the judge called the most complicated process he has ever seen in his legal career, took three days.

Testimony began Thursday with jurors hearing from people who were there when the car hit the people.

An image of one of those witnesses was seen globally and won a Pulitzer Prize for a local newspaper and a former reporter.

The trial is expected to last for three weeks with prosecutors seeking to show that Fields acted with premeditation and the defense working to show that he reacted in self-defense.