CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (KDKA/AP) – A judge has denied bond for an Ohio man accused of plowing his car into a crowd at a white nationalist rally.READ MORE: Furry Tails: Honoring Betty White On Her 100th Birthday
Judge Robert Downer said during a bond hearing Monday he would appoint a lawyer for James Alex Fields Jr.
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.
The rally was held by white nationalists and others who oppose a plan to remove from a Charlottesville park of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said that “racism is evil” as he condemned the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as “criminals and thugs.”
He spoke in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House after meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI director Christopher Wray about the race-fueled violence Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Trump has come under fire for his comments Saturday that “many sides” are to blame for the violence. In those remarks, he did not single out white supremacists or any other hate group, even as Republican lawmakers and others in his White House did condemn them by name.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shaprio tells the “KDKA Morning News” that white supremacists need to be called out for what they are.
“They are a hate-filled group of people, organization and they deserve to be roundly condemned. It shouldn’t matter what party you are…we should all speak with moral clarity on this issue,” said Shapiro.
Shaprio says peaceful protest is an important part of our country, but violence of any kind cannot be tolerated.
“I think it is critically important that while we preserve the right to protest and we preserve the right to assemble, that it always be done so in a peaceful manner, I’m really sickened by what I saw.”
Shaprio adds they monitor hate groups in Pennsylvania but wouldn’t go into specifics.READ MORE: COVID-19 Hospitalizations Still Climbing In Pennsylvania
As for Fields, he has been in custody since Saturday.
A former teacher of Fields says the suspect had a keen interest in military history, Hitler and Nazi, Germany.
Derek Weimer on Sunday said that he taught social studies to Field during his junior and senior years in Kentucky, calling him an average student.
Weimer recalled that school officials had singled out Fields in 9th grade for his political beliefs and that he had made comments that alerted his social studies teacher at the time to “deeply-held, radical” convictions on race and Nazism.
Weimer said Fields was a big Trump supporter because of what he believed to be Trump’s views on race. Trump’s proposal to build a border wall was particularly appealing to Fields, Weimer said.
U.S. officials have opened a civil rights investigation into the circumstances of the deadly car attack.
The investigation was announced late Saturday by officials of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia and the Richmond field office of the FBI.
In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says U.S. Attorney Rick Mountcastle has begun the investigation and will have the full support of the Justice Department.
Sessions says, “The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice.”
He adds, “When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.”MORE NEWS: Robert Bowers' Defense Seeks Change Of Venue For Upcoming Trial
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)