Neighbors describe suspect in deadly Virginia car ramming

- An Ohio man accused of plowing his car into counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia made his first court appearance Monday morning.

A judge has denied bond for James Alex Fields Jr., the man accused of plowing his car into a crowd at a white nationalist rally. Judge Robert Downer also said during the bond hearing that he would appoint a lawyer for Fields.

Fields is charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he drove into the crowd, fatally injuring one woman and hurting 19 others. He has been in custody since Saturday.

A high school teacher said Fields was fascinated with Nazism, idolized Adolf Hitler and had been singled out by school officials in the 9th grade for his "deeply held, radical" convictions on race.

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His mother, Samantha Bloom, has also since spoken with the media.

"I just knew he was going to a rally. I mean, I try to stay out of his political views," she said. "I don't really get too involved."

Sheriff's deputies are not allowing anyone in and of the apartment complex, except for people who live here. FOX 2's Camille Amiri spoke to some of those neighbors.

One neighbor, Dale Flory, described Fields as "quiet" and a "little sketchy."

"The whole thing is crazy. It's sad," another neighbor, Bethany Boone, said.

Fields lives in an apartment complex in Maumee, Ohio, which isn't far from Toledo. Bloom told the media her son does not live with her. Neighbors tell us they always say him driving his car, a silver Dodge Charger, through the complex.

"We just kind of put two and two together because she was like, 'Oh, it was this kind of car. It had this on it; it was this color,' and I'm like, that looks like the same kind and sounds like the same kind the dude drives," Nate Gribben said.

The people FOX 2 talked to believe Fields worked overnight hours and say he wore some kind of uniform.

Fields is facing a number of charges including second-degree murder. Heather Heyer, 32, a Virginia paralegal protesting the rally was killed. Nineteen others were injured.

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His mother says she's surprised by the allegations.

"I mean, he had an African American friend," his mom said. "That he would run his car into a group of people for, I'm really not clear on."

Fields has a bond hearing Monday.

This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 2 for updates. 

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