Suspect in 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia car attack indicted by grand jury

James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio poses for a mugshot a (Photo by Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail via Getty Images); The silver Dodge Charger driven by James Alex Fields Jr. passes near the Market Street Parking Garage moments after driving into a crowd of counter-protesters on Water Street on August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)


The suspect behind last summer’s deadly vehicle incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been indicted by a grand jury on federal hate crime charges.

Wednesday, James Alex Fields, Jr., who was arrested in Charlottesville last August, was indicted on 30 counts, including on the grounds of committing a hate crime resulting in death and bodily injury, and racially motivated violent interference with “federally protected activity” of using public streets.

The reputed Hitler admirer killed 32-year-old activist Heather Heyer and injured dozens of others who had gathered to protest a rally of white nationalists.

“At the Department of Justice, we remain resolute that hateful ideologies will not have the last word and that their adherents will not get away with violent crimes against those they target,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

“Last summer’s violence in Charlottesville cut short a promising young life and shocked the nation. Today’s indictment should send a clear message to every would-be criminal in America that we aggressively prosecute violent crimes of hate that threaten the core principles of our nation.”

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According to the indictment, many of the individuals gathered in the street that day were mowed down by Field as they chanted and carried signs promoting equality. They were there protesting against racial and other forms of discrimination, reports CNN.

Following the incident, President Donald Trump held a stunning news conference where he said there was “blame on both sides” equating the white supremacists with the “alt-left.”

The indictment alleges that as Fields prepared to leave for Charlottesville, a family member sent him a text message urging him to be careful.

“We’re not the ones who need to be careful,” Fields replied according to the indictment, and then attached an image of Hitler. He also used social media to promote racist views, including support for the Holocaust.

Fields could not be seen driving the car, but aerial footage from Virginia State Police showed him getting out of the car and on the ground after the collision.