On Thursday after a court hearing, the man who is accused of driving into a crowd in Charlottesville faces a new charge of first-degree murder.
At the beginning of a preliminary hearing for James Alex Fields, prosecutors revealed they were trying to upgrade the original second-degree murder charge. The judge agreed and ruled there was probable cause for all the charges he faces.
According to authorities, Fields, a former teacher, was very interested in Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler.
A former high school teacher for Fields, Derek Weimer, also revealed that Fields had been singled out for “deeply held, radical” views on race.
In court, they played surveillance videos from a Virginia State Police helicopter and a restaurant surveillance video of the car attack.
The helicopter surveillance videos showed the moment of impact by the car. The restaurant surveillance showed the car heading straight for the counterprotesters.
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Hours before the attack, Fields was photographed with a shield that had the Vanguard America emblem, one of the hate groups that participated in the Unite the Right rally.
However, the group denied any connection to him.
During the hearing, Fields’ attorney did not present any evidence or make any arguments.
Now his case will be presented to a grand jury for indictment.
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