James Alex Fields Jr., who is suspected of killing a woman as he allegedly drove a car into a group of counterprotesters at a white supremacist rally in Virginia, is set to appear on Monday in court via video link.
Fields, 20, is accused of ramming his car into a crowd of people, killing Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal, who was part of the counterprotest march on Saturday.
Fields is detained on suspicion of a second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident where a woman was killed. It is still unclear whether he has an attorney.
The incident occurred as hundreds ofwhite nationalists gathered onCharlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of the Confederate general and slavery advocate Robert E. Lee.
During the clashes, 19 people were injured, 10 of whom were listed in good condition by the University of Virginia Health System.
In a separate incident, two State Police troopers who were monitoring the clashes, were killed in a helicopter crash near Charlottesville.
The Charlottesville incident has incited political outrage over the weekend, with critics towards the President Donald Trump for failing to denounce the white supremacists in his reaction to the violence. The Vice President, however, on Sunday did just that, calling out “dangerous fringe groups.”
According to Derek Weimer, who teaches social studies at the Randall K. Cooper High School in Union, Kentucky, described the suspect Fields as a man who possessed “outlandish, very radical beliefs,” and a “fondness” for Adolf Hitler.
“It was quite clear he had some really extreme views and maybe a little bit of anger behind them,” Weimer stated for 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.”
Principal Mike Wilson described Fields as a quiet and reserved student who graduated in 2015. After graduation, Fields was recruited in the Army but he left active duty in December 2015. According to a spokeswoman for the Army the reason behind this was his failure to meet the training standards.
“As a result he was never awarded a military occupational skill nor was he assigned to a unit outside of basic training,” Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer Johnson told the CNN.
Fields’ mother, Samantha Bloom, told the Toledo Blade in Ohio, that she was not aware that her son was going to Virginia for a white nationalist rally.
She told the Blade that she didn’t discuss politics with her son and that she was surprised that her son attended an event with white supremacists.
“He had an African-American friend,” she told the Blade.
Vice President Mike Pence has also condemned the incident and the white supremacists.
“We have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo-Nazis or the KKK,” Pence said during a trip to Cartagena, Colombia.
“These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.”
“The President also made clear that behavior by others of different militant perspectives are also unacceptable in our political debate and discourse.” Pence added.
The founder of one of the most famous neo-Nazi websites praised Trump for not specifically blaming neo-Nazis and white supremacists, saying “he loves us.”
Andrew Anglin of the Daily Stormer wrote that Trump’s comments were “good.”
“He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate on … both sides!” Anglin wrote.
“There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all. He loves us all.”
The murder suspect Fields is set to initially appearin court on Monday morning via a video link from jail. A judge will determine whether he will be granted bail. The court hearing is expected to take place at 10 a.m. ET.
Three other men were also arrested on Saturday. One of them is facing a charge of carrying a concealed handgun and the other one is charged with disorderly conduct. The third man was detained on suspicion of assault and battery.
The Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have launched a civil rights investigation into the deadly crash, which will be led by the US Attorney Rick Mountcastle.
Investigators will have to look into Fields’ alleged motives, and whether there’s enough evidence for the case to be defined as domestic terrorism.