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Ohio man faces murder count in Charlottesville vehicle attack

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 3 days ago Jessie Balmert and Bob Strickley

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CINCINNATI — An Ohio man is being held on charges related to the car crash that left one dead and 19 injured in Charlottesville, Va., in the wake of of a white supremacist rally, authorities say.

James Fields Jr., 20, is being held at the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death. A jail official confirmed Fields was being held there Saturday evening.

Authorities says a 32-year-old woman died and 19 others were injured in the incident.

The vehicle that struck the crowd of counter-protesters at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville was purchased from a Greater Cincinnati car dealership and last registered in Ohio, online records show.

The Ohio license plate number seen in photographs taken by TheDaily Progress of Charlottesville tracks to a vehicle identification number of a 2010 Dodge Challenger last registered in Maumee, Ohio. Documents show Fields has a residence in Maumee.

A Carfax report shows the vehicle was purchased by its latest owner in June 2015 from Kerry Toyota in Florence, Ky. The title for the vehicle was updated the next month in Maumee.

The vehicle was not listed as stolen by the National insurance Crime Bureau as of Saturday afternoon. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles also lists the vehicle as registered out of Lucas County, where Maumee is located.

Warning: This slideshow may contain graphic images.

Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists encircle and chant at counter protesters at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. White supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.: Protests, violence and aftermath

Photo slideshow by MSN News

Online records do not show any previous criminal history for Fields. He was cited for expired or unlawful license plates by Maumee police in May 2017, according to local court records.

Videos of the incident show the Challenger barreling into pedestrians at high speed and slamming into the back of a second vehicle. With the car's front badly damaged and its mangled bumper sticking out one side, the driver backs up a high speed for several blocks, then turns left and speeds off, chased by police.

Photos and video posted on social media showed several people receiving treatment on the ground.

James Alex Fields Jr., 20, is seen in a mugshot released by Charlottesville, Virginia police department after being charged with one count of second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of failing to stop at an accident that resulted in a death after police say he drove a car into a crowd of counter protesters during the "Unite the Right" protests by white nationalist and "alt-right" demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. © Charlottesville Police Department/Handout via REUTERS James Alex Fields Jr., 20, is seen in a mugshot released by Charlottesville, Virginia police department after being charged with one count of second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of failing to stop at an accident that resulted in a death after police say he drove a car into a crowd of counter protesters during the "Unite the Right" protests by white nationalist and "alt-right" demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017.

Angela Taylor, a public information officer at the University of Virginia Medical Center, told USA TODAY that 20 patients were taken there and that one had died. The conditions of the other 19 were not yet determined.

“I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here,” Charlottesville Mayor Mike Singer said, without elaborating.

Charlottesville officials said two people were treated for serious injuries after fights broke out earlier in the leadup to the rally that city officials declared an "unlawful assembly."

The violence prompted Gov. Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency and played out against a backdrop of unofficial, armed militia groups ringing Emancipation Park, where the rally was called to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A White Supremacist tries to strike a counter protestor with a White Nationalist flag during clashes at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) © Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A White Supremacist tries to strike a counter protestor with a White Nationalist flag during clashes at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Contributing: Gabe Cavallaro, The (Staunton, Va.) News Leader; Doug Stanglin reported and Sarah Toy, USA TODAY

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