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Judge Denies Bail For Charlottesville Driver Who Plowed Through Protesters

REUTERS/Eze Amos.

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Jonah Bennett Contributor

A judge denied bail Monday to Charlottesville driver James Alex Fields Jr., who has been accused of running over antifa protesters at a white nationalist rally called Unite the Right.

Fields, a 20-year-old from Ohio, allegedly drove through a group of protesters Saturday in Charlottesville, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring 19 others.

He made his first appearance in court Monday via video from jail. Given the broader circumstances of the case, Judge Robert Downer decided to deny him bail and then moved to appoint Fields with an attorney called Charles Weber, the Associated Press reports. Fields did not enter a plea.

Police took him into custody almost immediately after the incident and charged him with a single count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one court of hit-and-run.

Fields’ next court date is set for August 25. The judge in the case may reconsider his application for bond before that time.

Fields reportedly had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was prescribed anti-psychotics. While he technically qualifies as a veteran, Fields was removed from active-duty after failing to complete basic training.

“The Army can confirm that James Alex Fields reported for basic military training in August of 2015,” Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson said in a statement. “He was, however, released from active duty due to a failure to meet training standards in December of 2015. As a result, he was never awarded a military occupational skill nor was he assigned to a unit outside of basic training.”

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