A judge has denied bond for an Ohio man accused of plowing his car into a crowd at a white nationalist rally.
Charlottesville General District Court Judge Robert Downer said during a bond hearing Monday he would appoint a lawyer for James Alex Fields Jr., 20.
He was not given a public defender due to a conflict of interest with a relative of someone in the public defender’s office, who was involved with the incident in Charlottesville on Saturday.
Fields appeared via video conference at 10 a.m. He said he could afford an attorney, but hasn’t hired one yet and that’s the reason he was given a court-appointed attorney for now.
He is charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he drove into the crowd, fatally injuring one woman and hurting 19 others. The rally was held by white nationalists and others who oppose a plan to remove from a Charlottesville park of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
No bond was set for Fields, the court said they wanted him to meet with an attorney first. Another hearing, called a control date, has been scheduled for August 25 at 11 a.m.
Commonwealth Attorney, Dave Chapman, said it is common for the court to designate a control date at which it is not expected that substantive proceedings will occur, but where a more informed decision can be made concerning the scheduling of a preliminary hearing.
Chapman said the Charlottesville Police Department will complete a full and fair investigation in this case and final decisions regarding the charges against Fields will not be made until the investigation is complete. Before then, he said they will not engage in public discussion or speculation about new or additional charges.
Fields has been in custody since Saturday.
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.
Chaos broke out after Fields’ hearing Monday.
Protesters outside the courthouse shouted “Nazis go home,” as supporters of the planned protest over the weekend argued over their right to peacefully protest with permits.
ACROSS THE COUNTRY
An Atlanta protest was among several around the nation over the weekend that were organized after a chaotic white supremacist rally in Virginia ended with deadly violence.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a lone policeman at Piedmont Park on Sunday night was surrounded by black-clad protesters shouting “pig” as demonstrators used chains to try and destroy the Peace Monument.
The 105-year-old statue depicts a winged angel standing over a Confederate soldier. Video from local news outlets showed red spray paint covering much of the monument following the demonstration.
The Latest on incidents related to violent clashes between white supremacist groups and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Protesters also broke a chunk off a statue depicting a Confederate soldier at an Atlanta park after they marched through the city to protest the weekend violence.
A group that hosts a ceremony every year to re-dedicate an Atlanta monument depicting a Confederate soldier vows that it will be repaired after protesters spray-painted it and broke a chunk from it.
John Green, past commandant of the Old Guard of the Gate City Guard, said Monday it appears his group must now raise money to repair the statue. City officials haven’t commented on any plans for repairs or whether city funds would be used for that.
Green said removing the statue from Piedmont Park, a city park, is not an option.
He said the angel standing over the soldier represents peace, and it was created to help bring the nation back together after the Civil War.
GODADDY ENDS SERVICE TO DAILY STORMER
A prominent white nationalist website that promoted a Virginia rally that ended in deadly violence Saturday is losing its internet domain host.
GoDaddy tweeted late Sunday night that it has given the Daily Stormer 24 hours to move its domain to another provider because the site has violated GoDaddy’s terms of service.
GoDaddy spokesman Dan Race tells the New York Daily News that the Daily Stormer violated its terms of service by labeling a woman killed in an attack at the event in Charlottesville “fat” and “childless.” Heather Heyer was killed Saturday when police say a man plowed his car into a group of demonstrators protesting the white nationalist rally.
Shortly after GoDaddy tweeted its decision, the site posted an article claiming it had been hacked and would be shut down.
Story by the Associated Press