Federal investigations open into deadly car attack at Charlottesville white-supremacist rally

Authorities are charging Fields with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit and run attended failure to stop with injury.
By Josh Curlee | Aug 17, 2017
A counter-protester's death Saturday during the white-supremacist "Unite the Right" rally in Centreville, Va., has prompted the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia to investigations with assistance from the Justice Department and the FBI. U.S. Attorney-General Jeff Sessions said that Rick Mountcastle, the state U.S. attorney, launched the investigation proceedings and that he has the U.S. Justice Department's full support.
"The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice," Sessions said Saturday in a statement. "When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated."
The state attorney is also working with the FBI to investigate the deadly car collision. In a joint statement, the state attorney's office and the FBI said that the investigation "will collect all available facts and evidence" but declined to comment further.

Violent clashes between protesters and counter-protesters were widespread Saturday, according to local police who said that many of the thousands of white supremacists and right-wing militants who attended were armed with bats and chemical sprays. But the violence turned fatal when a car plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring 19 other people.

Police have arrested James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio, as the primary suspect in the car attack. Fields left Ohio for Virginia prior to the rally, according to his mother, who told local reporters that he had told her only that he was "going to an alt-right rally."

Authorities are charging Fields with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit and run attended failure to stop with injury.

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