Judge denies bond for suspect in deadly Virginia car ramming

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – The Latest on violent protesting in Virginia and related developments around the nation (all times local):

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A judge has denied bond for an Ohio man accused of plowing his car into a crowd at a white nationalist rally.

Judge Robert Downer said during a bond hearing Monday he would appoint a lawyer for James Alex Fields Jr.

Fields 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. 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.

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9:45 a.m.

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 105-year-old statue damaged during a Sunday protest after the deadly weekend violence in Virginia.

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.

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7:40 a.m.

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.

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7:25 a.m.

Protesters spray-painted and 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 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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 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 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.

Protest
City Advocate Letitia James, left, wait her turn to as City Comptroller Scott Stringer address protesters at a “Peace and Sanity” rally Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, in the Brooklyn borough of New York, during a rally about white supremacy violence in Charlottesville, Va., (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

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7:25 a.m.

The German government is condemning the white nationalist rally in Virginia that turned violent Saturday, expressing solidarity with peaceful counter-protesters. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters Monday that it was an “absolutely repulsive scene at this extreme-right march.”

He said “there was outrageous racism, anti-Semitism and hate in its most despicable form to be seen, and whenever it comes to such speech or such images it is repugnant.”

He added that it’s “completely contrary to what the chancellor and the German government works for politically, and we are in solidarity with those who stand peacefully against such aggressive extreme-right opinions.” Seibert says Merkel also regrets the death of a counter-protester and sent her sympathies to those injured.

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3 a.m.

An Ohio man accused of plowing his car into counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia is set to make his first court appearance.

Col. Martin Kumer, superintendent at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, says 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. has a bond hearing Monday morning. Fields 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. Fields has been in custody since Saturday.

Jail officials told The Associated Press they don’t know if he’s obtained an attorney. 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.

What do we know about Fields?

Fields was a man who possessed “outlandish, very radical beliefs,” and a “fondness” for Adolf Hitler, according to Derek Weimer, who teaches social studies at Randall K. Cooper High School in Union, Kentucky.

“It was quite clear he had some really extreme views and maybe a little bit of anger behind them,” Weimer told CNN. “Feeling, what’s the word I’m looking for, oppressed or persecuted. He really bought into this white supremacist thing. He was very big into Nazism. He really had a fondness for Adolf Hitler.”

Principal Mike Wilson said he remembered Fields as a quiet and reserved student who graduated in 2015. In August of that year, Fields was inducted into the Army but he left active duty in December 2015. A spokeswoman for the Army said he failed to meet training standards.

“As a result he was never awarded a military occupational skill nor was he assigned to a unit outside of basic training,” Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson said.

Fields’ mother, Samantha Bloom, told the Toledo Blade in Ohio, where he lives, that she didn’t know her son was going to Virginia for a white nationalist rally. She thought it had something to do with Trump.

She told the Blade she didn’t discuss politics with her son. She was surprised her son attended an event with white supremacists.

“He had an African-American friend,” she told the Blade.

Pence decries neo-Nazis, ‘dangerous fringe groups’

As criticism of Trump’s response reverberated, Vice President Mike Pence condemned the violence and white supremacists.

“We have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo-Nazis or the KKK,” Pence said during a trip to Cartagena, Colombia. “These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.”

Pence added: “The President also made clear that behavior by others of different militant perspectives are also unacceptable in our political debate and discourse.”

The creator of one of the most prolific neo-Nazi websites praised Trump for not specifically blaming neo-Nazis and white supremacists, saying “he loves us.”

Andrew Anglin of the Daily Stormer wrote that Trump’s comments were “good.”

“He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate on … both sides!” Anglin wrote. “There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all. He loves us all.”

Anglin did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

What happens now?

Three other men were arrested Saturday. One faces a charge of carrying a concealed handgun and another is charged with disorderly conduct. The third man was arrested on suspicion of assault and battery.

The Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have launched a civil rights investigation into the deadly crash, to be led by US Attorney Rick Mountcastle.

Investigators will be looking into Fields’ alleged motives, and whether there’s enough evidence for a domestic terrorism case.

 

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