The case against James Alex Fields Jr., the Ohioan and suspected driver in the deadly Charlottesville car-ramming, is headed to a Virginia grand jury.
Fields initially was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, of Charlottesville in the incident in August that left more than 30 people injured.
After a preliminary hearing in Charlottesville Circuit Court on Thursday, Judge Robert Downer Jr. granted a motion to certify the following in the case against Fields and three others:
- One felony count of first-degree murder,
- One felony count of hit and run,
- Five felony counts of aggravated malicious wounding
The judge also granted the commonwealth attorney's request to certify felony counts against three other defendants. The charges are discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school and malicious wounding.
Fields's case -- and the cases of three other defendants in the Charlottesville riot incident -- will be presented to a Charlottesville Circuit Court grand jury on Dec. 18.
The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney for the city did not comment on Downer's rulings.