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Man accused of driving into Charlottesville protesters charged with federal hate crimes

The man accused of driving his car into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year, killing Heather Heyer, has been charged with more than two dozen federal hate crimes, BuzzFeed News reports. "Defendant James Alex Fields Jr. willfully caused bodily injury to Heather Heyer because of the actual and perceived race, color, religion, and national origin of individuals" in the crowd she was a part of, the court filings allege.

Fields, 21, faces 29 total counts of hate crimes over the incident as well as other criminal charges, like first-degree murder. The protesters he targeted in Charlottesville had been demonstrating against the Unite the Right white nationalist rally.

"Last summer's violence in Charlottesville cut short a promising young life and shocked the nation," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement. "Today's indictment should send a clear message to every would-be criminal in America that we aggressively prosecute violent crimes of hate that threaten the core principles of our nation."