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No Bail For Driver Who Allegedly Plowed Into Protesters

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The 20-year-old white supremacist charged with killing one and injuring many others after driving his car into a crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been officially denied bail.

On Aug. 12, the college town of Charlottesville descended into chaos after a number of white nationalists from across the country came to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, according to the Daily Mail. The so-called "Unite the Right" rally saw dozens of Americans in Nazi regalia chanting racist and anti-Semitic messages.

Tensions between the white supremacists and the demonstrators protesting their presence escalated and quickly turned violent. James Alex Fields, Jr., from Maumee, Ohio, was arrested after allegedly plowing his gray Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring more than 30.

Fields was charged with second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death, according to Superintendent Martin Kumer from the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail.

Fields had his first court appearance Aug. 14, and was denied bail. Fields did not indicate his motivations behind the alleged attack, and only spoke in short yes or no statements throughout his hearing.

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Fields said he could not afford an attorney, meaning he would need to be provided one by the court system. He will not receive a lawyer from the public attorney's office, as one employee had a family member injured in the attack. 

Outside the court house, a large crowd gathered in solidarity with the victims of Fields' attack. White nationalist Matthew Heimbach shouted over the protesters, saying Hyer's death was the fault of police.

"Nazis go home," the crowd yelled at him, according to the BBC.

"I think I like it in Charlottesville," Heimbach responded. "I think I'll stay."

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Brennan Gilmore was one of the many who recorded the attack in downtown Charlottesville. He captured the moment the Dodge Challenger slammed into the crowd and then quickly reversed, hitting more people. 

"He slowed down, targeted the crowd and slammed on the gas. Bodies went flying everywhere," he told USA Today. "We all started running to give first aid, but then he backed up and I thought he might make another run at the crowd."

In the video, many can be heard screaming in terror and calling for emergency responders. In a tweet, Gilmore called the attack an act of "deliberate terrorism."

Fields is currently held in Albemarle Charlottesville regional jail without bail. His next court appearance has been scheduled for Aug. 25.

Sources: Daily Mail, BBC, USA Today / Featured Image: Brian Turner/Flickr / Embedded Images: Albemarle County Jail via Daily Mail, Paula Reid/Twitter

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