What We Know About James Alex Fields, Driver Charged in Charlottesville Killing

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A driver smashed into a line of cars, causing a chain reaction that that killed one person and injured at least 19 others demonstrating against a white nationalist gathering in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday. Credit Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress, via Associated Press

James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio was charged with second-degree murder in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday after he smashed a car into a line of cars in an episode that left a 32-year-old woman dead and injured at least 19 other people who were protesting a rally staged by white nationalists.

What We Know

• Mr. Fields, 20, was born in Kenton, Ky., to Samantha Lea Bloom.

• He was living with his mother until “five or six months ago” when he moved to his own apartment in Maumee, Ohio, according to an interview that Ms. Bloom gave to The Toledo Blade. They moved to Ohio from Kentucky about year ago because of her job, she said.

• Mr. Fields’s father died before he was born, an aunt, Pam Fields, said on Sunday. His mother was a paraplegic and was in a wheelchair.

Ms. Fields said she had not seen her nephew, whom she remembered as a “very quiet little boy” more than five times in the past 10 years.

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James Alex Fields Jr. in a mugshot released by the Charlottesville, Va., police department. Credit Charlottesville Police Department, via Reuters

• Military records show that Mr. Fields entered the Army on Aug. 18, 2015, around the time his mother wrote on Facebook that he had left for boot camp. Less than four months later, on Dec. 11, his period of active duty concluded. It was not immediately clear why he left the military.

• A photographer saw Mr. Fields on Saturday with symbols of 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.

“The driver of the vehicle that hit counterprotesters today was, in no way, a member of Vanguard America,” the group said in a statement on its Twitter account. “All our members had been safely evacuated by the time of the incident. The shields seen do not denote membership, nor does the white shirt. The shirts were freely handed out to anyone in attendance.”

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