Feds can seize money from prison account of white supremacist involved in Charlottesville death

Prosecutors say James Alex Fields Jr. has accumulated "significant funds" in his account at the federal prison facility in Springfield, Missouri, noting that "various individuals" have been sending him money.

Federal agents can take money from the prison account of the white supremacist who rammed his car into a crowd of anti-racism demonstrators in Charlottesville five years ago, killing one person and injuring dozens more.

Judge Michael Urbanski ruled that James Alex Field Jr.‘s account can be seized and used by law enforcement to cover a portion of the roughly $80,000 in unpaid fines and restitution owed in the inmate’s criminal case, CBS News reported.

The Justice Department asserts that Fields has accumulated “significant funds” in his account at the federal prison facility in Springfield, Missouri. While the exact figure is unknown, prosecutors claimed “various individuals” have been sending him money, and asked the judge to allow them to seize at least $650.

James Alex Fields Jr. (above) is shown next to a photo of the car he drove into a crowd of anti-racism demonstrators in Charlottesville in 2017, killing one person and injuring dozens. He has accumulated funds in jail that the feds now have the authority to tap. (Photos: Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail via Getty Images and Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)

Fields, however, requested in a handwritten motion that the court “reduce the payment from my trust account requested by the Government from $650 to $298,” contending that he needs to keep some of the money to cover phone calls, postage and other “sundry items” — an argument Judge Urbanski rejected.

Although the Justice Department withheld the names of Fields’ alleged contributors, testimony in a federal civil lawsuit revealed a known white supremacist donated money and suggested that other members of the white nationalist movement may have written to the inmate.

The legal controversy surrounding the funds in Fields’ prison account has also led to the revelation of several allegations of prison misconduct.

Prosecutors claim the inmate received a $250 citation in December 2020 for having an unsafe “homemade” weapon, and in January 2021, he allegedly made a “threatening remark” to an officer. 

Fields is spending life in the federal facility after pleading guilty to several federal hate crimes charges in the deadly car attack, which killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and left dozens of others injured.

He was among hundreds of white nationalists who gathered at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017 to oppose the proposed removal of a statue of confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Fields, a rumored supporter of Adolf Hitler, drove from his home in Maumee, Ohio, about 545 miles out, to join the rally.

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