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Axios Aug 13
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Driver who plowed car into protesters identified, charged

People fly into the air as car drives into counter-demonstrators protesting the white nationalist rally. Photo by Ryan Kelly of The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress, via AP

James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old man, was identified as the driver who plowed his car into protesters yesterday during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, per NYT. He was charged with second-degree murder.

  • He was in the military. "Military records show that Mr. Fields entered the Army on Aug. 18, 2015 ... Less than four months later, on Dec. 11, his period of active duty concluded. It was not immediately clear why he left the military."
  • He lived with his mother until recently.
  • Potential ties to Vanguard America, "a group whose manifesto declares that 'a government based in the natural law must not cater to the false notion of equality.' The organization denied any ties to him."
  • A middle school classmate "suggested that his interest in far-right ideologies dated back years. 'On many occasions there were times he would scream obscenities, whether it be about Hitler or racial slurs.'"