Charlottesville car attack suspect charged with five additional felonies
James Alex Fields, Jr. has been charged with five additional felony counts related to last week’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he allegedly rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, according to Charlottesville police.
Fields, who is accused of killing one person and wounding 19 others, has already been charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death. The five additional charges include two more counts of malicious wounding and three counts of aggravated malicious wounding, police said.
Saturday’s incident took place as hundreds of white nationalists and other right-wing groups converged on Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Fields, 20, was among many white nationalist protesters who clashed with counterprotesters.
Fields, a resident of Maumee, Ohio, is suspected of driving his Dodge Challenger into counterprotesters as police dispersed the crowds. Heather Heyer, 32, a paralegal from Charlottesville, was killed in the attack.
Exclusive photographs obtained by CNN appear to show Fields marching alongside neo-Nazis and other white supremacists at the rally in Charlottesville.
Fields was a man who possessed “outlandish, very radical beliefs” and a “fondness” for Adolf Hitler, according to Derek Weimer, who teaches social studies at Randall K. Cooper High School in Union, Kentucky.
“It was quite clear he had some really extreme views and maybe a little bit of anger behind them,” Weimer told CNN. “Feeling, what’s the word I’m looking for, oppressed or persecuted. He really bought into this white supremacist thing. He was very big into Nazism. He really had a fondness for Adolf Hitler.”
Fields’ mother, Samantha Bloom, told the Toledo Blade in Ohio, where he lives, that she didn’t know her son was going to Virginia for a white nationalist rally. She thought it had something to do with Trump.
She told the Blade she didn’t discuss politics with her son. She was surprised her son attended an event with white supremacists.
“He had an African-American friend,” she told the Blade.
Fields appeared in court on Monday, where he was informed of the previous charges against him. No bond was set, and he remains in custody.
By Nadeem Muaddi and Nora Neus, CNN