Ex-teacher: Crash suspect had interest in Nazism

The teacher said Alex Fields was a big Trump supporter because of what he believed to be Trump's views on race

In this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 photo, James Alex Fields Jr., second from left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist rally took place. Fields was later charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he plowed a car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally. (Alan Goffinski via AP)
In this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 photo, James Alex Fields Jr., second from left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist rally took place. Fields was later charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he plowed a car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally. (Alan Goffinski via AP)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – A former teacher of the man accused of plowing his car into counter protesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia says the suspect had a keen interest in military history, Hitler and Nazi, Germany.

Derek Weimer on Sunday said that he taught social studies to 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. during his junior and senior years in Kentucky, calling him an average student.

Weimer recalled that school officials had singled out Fields in 9th grade for his political beliefs and that he had made comments that alerted his social studies teacher at the time to “deeply-held, radical” convictions on race and Nazism.

Weimer said Fields was a big Trump supporter because of what he believed to be Trump’s views on race. Trump’s proposal to build a border wall was particularly appealing to Fields, Weimer said.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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