Father of Heather Heyer Says God ‘Taught’ him to Forgive Daughter’s Killer; Doesn’t Want him to Get Death Penalty: ‘I’d Rather him Get his Heart Straight and Get Life in Prison’

Charlottesville alt-right protester James Fields was convicted of murdering Heather Heyer with his car on Friday, but Heather’s father, Mark Heyer, doesn’t want Fields to get the death penalty. Heyer explained he’d rather see Fields in prison for life.

“I don’t relish the thought of him getting the death penalty. That’s my belief,” Mark Heyer told BuzzFeed News. “I’d rather him get his heart straight and get life [in prison].”

A jury found Fields guilty of first degree murder, among other counts, Friday for his actions at the Charlottesville “Unite The Right” rally in August 2017. Fields, who is 21-years-old, drove his car through a crowd of people, killing Heather and injuring dozens of others. The protest was a made up of a “white nationalist” crowd, and many protesters took aim at the Jewish community.

“He was too stupid and too young to realize what he was about to do would change his whole life,” Heyer said. “I think about his mother and what she’s having to go through.”

He also noted his religion inspired him to forgive Fields because it’s “what the Lord taught him.” Heyer questioned how one individual can harbor so much hatred. “What happened to make him hate that much?” he asked. “You don’t just wake up in the morning like that. He had hatred building up in him for years.”

Fields has not yet been sentenced. The other charges he was found guilty of are three counts of malicious wounding, five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, and one hit and run count, according to NBC News. He was also charged with 30 federal hate crimes. He will face trial on additional charges.

Heather’s mother, Susan Bro, did not immediately comment on Fields’s conviction. Fields verbally attacked Bro in a recorded prison conversation with his own mother, in which he called Bro an “anti-white supremacist” and a “communist.” The tape was played for jurors, according to CBS 19 News.

Texts between Fields and his mother were also used in court. On the day of the rally in 2017, his mother texted him to be careful. He responded: “We’re not the one (sic) who need to be careful,” along with a photo of Adolf Hitler, according to The Hill.