CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- (WBBH) -- The driver charged with killing a woman at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville was previously accused of beating his mother and threatening her with a knife, according to police records released Monday.
Authorities say 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters on Saturday in Charlottesville, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
The records from the Florence Police Department in Kentucky show the man's mother had called police in 2011. Fields' mother, Samantha Bloom, told police he stood behind her wielding a 12-inch knife. Bloom is disabled and uses a wheelchair.
In another incident in 2010, Bloom said that Fields smacked her in the head and locked her in the bathroom after she told him to stop playing video games. Bloom told officers Fields was on medication to control his temper.
Earlier Monday, Fields was denied bond after the public defender's office said it couldn't represent him because a relative of someone in the office was injured in Saturday's protest. The judge was forced to find a local attorney to fill in, Charles Weber, who did not immediately respond to phone messages. No one answered the door at his office Monday.
Fields was not present in the courtroom but appeared via video monitor dressed in a black-and-white striped uniform. Seated, he answered questions from the judge with simple responses of "Yes, sir" when asked if he understood what was being explained to him. Fields also replied "No, sir" when asked if he had ties to the community of Charlottesville.
Judge Robert Downer set an Aug. 25 hearing for Fields, who has been charged with second-degree murder and other counts.
Fields was fascinated with Nazism, idolized Adolf Hitler, and had been singled out in the 9th grade by officials at the Randall K. Cooper high school in Union, Kentucky, for his "deeply held, radical" convictions on race, his former high school teacher Derek Weimer said Sunday.