James Fields, Jr. has appeared in court after being arrested for deliberately ramming his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring 19, five of them critically.
Judge Robert Downer appointed Fields, Jr. an attorney, Charles Webber; denied the suspect bond for the time being, and set August 25 as the suspect's next court date.
Fields, Jr. has been charged with second-degree murder, malicious wounding, and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death. He did not enter a plea during his court appearance via video conference.
Outside the courthouse, white supremacists attempted to defend their fellow racist, but were drowned out by chants of "Nazis go home!" and "Murderer!"
Police have yet to provide a motive for the attack, although videos that have surfaced show the driver clearly speeding into the anti-racism crowd who were counter-protesting a "Unite the Right" rally against a plan to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from a park.
Fields, Jr. had been charged with second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death. He did not enter a plea during his appearance. Hours before he had been seen brandishing a shield emblazoned with the white supremacist emblem identifiable with Vanguard America.
Southern Poverty Law Center spokeswoman Rebecca Sturtevant told The News that the logo – two white axes – is a variation of imagery used by the white supremacists.
The Anti-Defamation League depicts Vanguard American as a group which focuses on white identity, but noted that its members have “increasingly demonstrated a neo-Nazi ideology.”
The Daily News captured a photograph of the suspect at the hate group's rally Saturday.
Fields, Jr.'s Facebook page was littered with alt-right rhetoric and Nazi imagery – such as Hitler’s baby photo, a tourist shot of the Reichstag in Berlin and cartoon of Pepe the Frog hijacked by right-wing groups. The account was deactivated around 11:30 p.m. Saturday.
There was also a picture of him posing with the car authorities identify as the weapon he used to carry out the deadly assault.
U.S. President Donald Trump was criticized for waiting too long to address the right-wing violence in the southern college town, and then, when he did so, failing to explicitly condemn the white-supremacist marchers who ignited the melee.
U.S. attorneys and the FBI have reportedly initiated a civil rights investigation into the circumstances since Fields, Jr. crossed state lines when he traveled from Ohio to Virginia.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared an emergency and halted the white nationalist rally planned for Saturday but that did not stop the violence.
Trump said "many sides" were involved in the Charlottesville incidents, remarks that drew fire for not specifically denouncing white nationalists.
"We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides," Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf course on Saturday.
The planned rally stemmed from a long debate in the U.S. South over the Confederate battle flag and other symbols of the rebel side in the Civil War, which was fought over slavery.
The Charlottesville violence is the latest clash between far-rightists, some of whom have claimed allegiance to Trump, and the president's opponents since his January inauguration.
About two dozen people were arrested in Charlottesville in July when the Ku Klux Klan rallied against the plan to remove the Lee statue. Torch-wielding white nationalists also demonstrated in May against the removal.