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Charlottesville suspect charged with federal hate crimes in 30-count indictment

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The 21-year-old Ohio man who allegedly drove his car into a group of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally last year in Charlottesville, Va., killing one woman, has been charged with federal hate crimes.

James Alex Fields was charged in a 30-count indictment returned by a Charlottesville grand jury, according to a Justice Department release.

{mosads}The indictment charges Fields with 28 counts of hate crime acts causing bodily injury and involving an attempt to kill, one count of a hate crime resulting in the death of Heather Heyer, 32, and one count of racially motivated violent interference with a federally protected activity.

“At the Department of Justice, we remain resolute that hateful ideologies will not have the last word and that their adherents will not get away with violent crimes against those they target,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

Sessions added that the violence in Charlottesville “shocked the nation” and that the indictment against Fields should send a clear signal to others.

“Today’s indictment should send a clear message to every would-be criminal in America that we aggressively prosecute violent crimes of hate that threaten the core principles of our nation,” Sessions said.

The indictment also details some of Fields’s social media posts and other actions ahead of the rally, in which he espoused white supremacist views, including praise for Hitler and calls for violence against Jews and nonwhites.

Fields had previously been charged on 10 counts, including first-degree murder and other felony charges.

Police say Fields drove his car into a group of counterprotesters at the United the Right rally, killing Heyer and injuring numerous others. 

The rally in Charlottesville, which was sparked by efforts to remove a Confederate statue, received international attention.

The Trump administration faced bipartisan backlash over its response to the rally, in which President Trump said that “both sides” were to blame for the violence.

Tags Donald Trump Jeff Sessions

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