Charlottesville suspect indicted on first-degree murder, other felony charges
The man accused of driving his car into a crowd of people during the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this year has been formally charged with first-degree murder as well as nine other felony accounts.
A grand jury on Monday handed down the 10 indictment charges against James Alex Fields, The Associated Press reported Tuesday, citing court records.
Prosecutors say Fields, a 20-year-old man from Ohio, drove his car into the crowd, killing one woman and injuring more than a dozen others at the Aug 12 rally, which was originally organized as a protest against the removal of a Confederate statue.
The crowd of counterprotesters was marching against white supremacist groups that had converged on the college town carrying tiki torches and chanting racist slogans.
Fields, who has been linked with the nationalist groups, had initially been charged with second-degree murder, but the charge was upgraded last week.
The mother of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman killed in the incident, said last week that she’s had to keep the location of daughter’s grave hidden in order to protect the site from white supremacists who continue to threaten her family.
Earlier this month, the city of Charlottesville rejected the applications of white nationalists seeking permits to host an anniversary “Unite the Right” on Aug. 12, 2018, citing public safety concerns.
President Trump came under bipartisan fire in August for blaming “both sides” for the violence and saying there were some “fine people” among the white supremacists.