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Suspect in Charlottesville auto attack faces new charge of first-degree murder

Suspect in Charlottesville auto attack faces new charge of first-degree murder”

The judge certified the charges against all three men.

The mother of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman killed after a man drove a vehicle into a crowd of people marching against a white nationalist rally last summer in Charlottesville, Va., said that she's had to hide the site where her daughter's ashes are interred.

Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, opened up about the reason she can not have a public gravesite for her daughter.

Fields said he was sorry and asked if people were OK, according to Young. Several of the victims wore purple shirts with a picture of Heyer and her last Facebook post, which has become a national catchphrase: "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention". The vehicle reversed before speeding forward into the frame again. The helicopter had been monitoring the violence, and prosecutors questioned Charlottesville Police Detective Steven Young about the video as it played. "And I don't see that you can call it any other way". "I can't believe he did that".

Authorities say the footage captures Fields' Challenger stopping about a block and a half away from protesters, reversing, then driving into the crowd and speeding away in reverse.

Susan Bro, Heyer's mother, told The Daily Beast that her daughter's ashes were at an unmarked, "completely protected" site that is not open to the public in an effort to shield the grave from the white supremacists who have threatened her family, she said.

The violence in Charlottesville drew worldwide attention to racial tensions in the United States, all the more so after President Donald Trump at first declined to condemn the white supremacists, and insisted that both sides were to blame.

The detective said he saw blood and flesh on the front of the vehicle.

James Alex Fields appeared in court for a preliminary hearing, where prosecutors said they had filed a motion earlier in the day seeking to amend the second-degree murder charge he had previously faced. That testimony was apparently meant to undercut any argument that Fields had been under attack.

Charlottesville General District Judge Robert Downer Jr. certified the first-degree murder charge and all others against Fields.

Fields, wearing prison stripes and a beard, sat through the hearing showing no reaction to the videos or the testimony. But Thursday, the office sought to raise that to first-degree murder, with a penalty of 20 years to life, and the judge agreed.

Fields' case will now be presented to a grand jury for an indictment. Charged in cases related to the August rally are Richard Preston, who is accused of firing a gun, and Jacob Goodwin and Alex Ramos, who are accused in an attack on a man in a parking garage that was captured in photos and video that went viral.

Jason Kessler, the main organizer of the Unite the Right rally, was in court for the hearings.

Hawes Spencer reported from Charlottesville, Virginia, and Richard Pérez-Peña from NY.



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