An Ohio driver accused of plowing into a crowd protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, this summer, killing one woman, now faces a first-degree murder charge.
James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, was initially charged with second-degree murder and other offenses, including malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death. Police say he fatally struck Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old Charlottesville paralegal, and injured 36 others on August 12.
The victims were demonstrating against the "Unite the Right" rally, which drew white nationalists and other far right organizations to Charlottesville who opposed the city's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Prosecutors announced the upgraded charge at a hearing Thursday in a Charlottesville courtroom, but didn't give details. Prosecutors also showed two videos -- including one from a police helicopter -- that captured the moments before and after police said Fields drove into the crowd.
Fields, whose wrists and feet were shackled, attended the hearing.
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