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Bond denied for Charlottesville car attack suspect James Fields

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A judge has denied bond for an Ohio man accused of plowing his car into a crowd demonstrating against a white supremacist rally. 

 James Alex Fields Jr. appearing in a Charlottesville, Va. court Monday, Aug. 14, 2017 Bill Hennessy

James Alex Fields, Jr. is charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he drove into the crowd, fatally injuring one woman, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, and hurting 19 others.   

Fields was not present in the courtroom but appeared via video monitor dressed in a black-and-white striped uniform. Seated, he answered questions from the judge with simple responses of "Yes, sir" when asked if he understood what was being explained to him. Fields also replied "No, sir" when asked if he had ties to the community of Charlottesville.

Outside the court Monday, people chanted "Nazis, go home," at two white supremacists who blamed the media for Saturday's attack, after a rally held by white supremacists and others who oppose a plan to remove from a Charlottesville park a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. 

Fields has been in custody since Saturday. 

Judge Robert Downer said the public defenders' office informed him it could not represent Fields because a relative of someone in the office was injured in Saturday's protest. He appointed local attorney Charles Weber to represent him. Weber couldn't immediately be reached by The Associated Press.

Just hours before the apparent attack, pictures show Fields at the alt-right rally dressed in the de facto uniform of a white supremacist group carrying a shield with racist symbols.

Friend of Charlottesville victim says Heather Heyer "died for peace" 03:57

"He just looked off, he had that kind of 1,000-yard stare; it just kinda grabbed me," said photographer Kyle Petrozza. "Knowing what he did, it's kind of haunting now, you know. At the time, I thought I was photographing someone who might just be, you know, a follower, you know, just along for the march, but obviously not."

Fields grew up in Kentucky and moved to Ohio with his mother about a year ago. He joined the Army in 2015 but left after four months "due to a failure to meet training standards."

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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