Alleged Charlottesville protest killer faces court

James Alex Fields Jr, the driver accused of barreling a car into a crowded street in Charlottesville killing a woman and injuring several others, is scheduled to make his first extended court appearance on Thursday.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA (REUTERS) - 20-year-old James Alex Fields, Jr., the man accused of driving his car into 32-year-old Heather Heyer and killing her during protests in Charlottesville last summer, is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

Several other people were injured in the incident.

Fields is charged with second-degree murder, malicious wounding and felonious assault.

He has been jailed in Charlottesville since Aug 12, the day the violent protests broke out.

It began after a group of white nationalists held a rally against the city's plan to remove the statute of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Counterprotesters showed up and clashes soon followed.

It was then Fields allegedly drove his silver Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer.

If convicted of second-degree murder, he faces up to 40 years in prison.