Man Charged with Killing Person at Protest with Car Identified

The death was one of three related to a white nationalist rally.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Authorities say a 20-year-old Ohio man accused of driving a car into a group of counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally has been charged with second-degree murder and other counts.

The Charlottesville Police Department said in a statement Saturday night that James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio also faces three counts of malicious wounding, and one count related to leaving the scene.

Col. Martin Kumer, superintendent of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, said Fields was in custody there Saturday night. Kumer says he doesn't believe Fields has obtained an attorney yet.

He says a bond hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Witnesses say Fields' car plowed into a crowd of people who were protesting a rally, which was held by white nationalists who oppose the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee by the city of Charlottesville. At least 26 other people were treated at local hospitals.

Meanwhile, a woman who identified herself as the mother of Fields says he told her he was going to the rally.

Samantha Bloom, of Ohio, confirmed details about her son's car and his trip to Virginia, saying she received a text from him last week that said he'd gotten some time off from work and was going to a rally.

She said her son hadn't given her any details about the rally but that she told him "to be careful" and to peaceful.

Bloom became visibly upset as she learned that dozens of people were injured.

Bloom said she and Fields had just relocated to the Toledo area from Florence, Kentucky, a Cincinnati, Ohio, suburb.

There were also two other deaths connected to Saturday event. A Virginia state police helicopter that was assisting in the law enforcement response crashed. 

Police said Lt. H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian and Trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton were killed in the crash. The two were monitoring the white nationalist rally at the time. 

 

© 2017 Associated Press


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