Ohio Man Held Without Bond in Connection to Fatal 4th St. Crash
The Ohio man charged in connection with a deadly car attack on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall made his first court appearance Monday.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Ohio man arrested in connection with a deadly car attack on Charlottesville made a quick appearance before a judge Monday morning.
Twenty-year-old James Alex Fields, Jr. appeared in Charlottesville General District Court via video conference around 10 a.m. Monday, August 14. Fields is facing one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit-and-run. Police continue to investigate the incident.
Judge Robert Downer denied bond during Monday's hearing, and appointed attorney Charles L. Weber Jr. to represent Fields.
Weber is part of a lawsuit against Charlottesville's decision to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park. Earlier this year, the Charlottesville City Council voted in favor of having the statue taken out of the public park.
Legal insiders tell NBC29 Weber's representation of Fields may be a conflict of interest due to his involvement in the lawsuit.
Authorities say Fields hit a crowd of counter demonstrators walking around the area of 4th Street and Water Street around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, August 12. Thirty-two-year-old Heather Heyer was pronounced dead at the University of Virginia Medical Center, while 19 others were being treated for various injures in connection to that incident.
Heyer was a Greene County native who graduated from William Monroe High School. She worked as a paralegal for the Miller Law Group in Charlottesville, and also as a part-time server at Cafe Caturra on the University of Virginia Corner.
Fields was seen participating in the Unite the Right rally at Emancipation Park with Vanguard America, a known racist, right-wing group. The rally's organizer, white activist Jason Kessler, had stated that the event was in support of the Lee statue.
Fields' next court date is scheduled for Friday, August 25.
Traditionalist Worker Party cofounder Matthew Heimbach appeared in support of Fields following the court hearing. He promised the Nazis would return to Charlottesville with another rally. The Anti-Defamation League considers Heimbach a leader of the alt-right movement.
Heimbach blamed Saturday's violence and car attack on police and the radical left.
"We defended ourselves. We brought helmets and shields while the enemy brought improvised flame throwers, where they brought bleach, where they brought paint, where they brought sticks and they brought knives. The nationalist community defended ourselves against thugs in a battle that was brought by this city that wanted a bloodbath," Heimbach said.
A group of protesters outside the court chanted "Nazi go home," at Heimbach, who was escorted by officers away from the crowd.
A high school teacher said Fields was fascinated with Nazism, idolized Adolf Hitler and had been singled out by school officials in the 9th grade for his "deeply held, radical" convictions on race.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.