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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018

C-Ville Weekly Offices

BAARS: Why is it that you’re working so hard to get a copy of those videos?

EVANS: Well, I’ve been following this whole series of events--

BAARS: If you don’t mind, I’m going to turn my recorder on.

EVANS: Yeah, it’s okay. I always do this, just for my own protection.

BAARS: I don’t have a lot of space, so it might cut off, and--

EVANS: Sure. I, if you want I can send you whatever I have.

BAARS: Okay.

EVANS: It does it in seven-minute increments, so I can’t send it all at once, but--

BAARS: Okay, yeah that’d be great. Then I’m just gonna rely on that, if you
don’t mind.

EVANS: Yeah. Well if it runs out of space on my phone, no promises, but


usually it works.

BAARS: Great.

EVANS: So, I’ve been interested in the case since it happened. As I said in my
affidavit, I made a YouTube channel, I have some videos up there on
my Youtube channel, and I think the videos speak for themselves as
far as my interest goes, but as far as the public’s right to know about
what happened at the preliminary hearing and what was shown there,
it really has nothing to do with my personal interest or anybody’s
particular personal interest. When it comes to the public’s right to
know or the public’s right to have access to these court records, my
interest is irrelevant. It’s just the reality that when you file evidence in

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
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a case, the public has a right to access it, for whatever the public will
use it for.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: At that point, it’s kind of like you’ve been out in the public square and
you’ve released it, at that point. And the precedent is pretty clear
across the entire country, both in the Supreme Court and in federal
courts and in the state courts that have statutes like this, that when you
show something like this to a portion of the public in a public setting,
at that point you don’t have the right as a government entity to
withhold it from anybody else who asks for it.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: And that’s what happened to me, I’ve requested access and I’ve been
told “No”. And I haven’t been given a reason, and so I’m challenging
that.

BAARS: What comes next. So you filed – did you file this week?

EVANS: I filed Wednesday.

BAARS: You filed Wednesday of this week. Is there a certain amount of time
that you have to get a response?

EVANS: Yes. So, under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, it says that if I
provide notice in advance of my filing, which I did last week--

BAARS: Uh-huh.

EVANS: I sent them the petitions last week – I’m entitled to a hearing in seven
days. I’m probably not going to hold them to that, because I filed, as

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
C-Ville Weekly Offices

you probably saw, it’s kind of a lengthy petition, and so I don’t want to
force the court’s hand and force them to rush this, if it’s hard for them
to do that, or rush the parties to respond. So typically, in a general
case like this that’s not under the Freedom of Information Act, the
timeline is 21 days.

BAARS: Okay.

EVANS: So they would have 21 days from Wednesday, so it would be, I guess,
the 21st or 22nd of this month.

BAARS: Okay. And then, I actually haven’t looked at the documents that you
sent. I know Lisa has, but we’ve been working on some different
projects this week.

EVANS: Yeah, when I was here Wednesday, Lisa said that she was covering
that garbage truck train crash.

BAARS: Yeah, that was pretty nasty, and at the same time I was in a different
courthouse for another related hearing, so yeah, we’ve been pretty
busy.

EVANS: If you can believe it, I was driving down Wednesday, and my mom
sent me a text message, and it said something like, “GOP train crashes
into garbage truck. Be careful.” And I was like, is she using some sort
of weird metaphor here? What is this?

BAARS: I think a lot of people might have thought that when they read the
headline.

EVANS: Yeah, I mean I was like, puzzled -- I thought she mistakenly sent a text
to me that she meant to send to one of her friends.

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
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BAARS: Yeah, yeah. So I haven’t been able to look at these Youtube videos that
you’re referencing. What are those about?

EVANS: Yeah. So, I made probably about six or seven, back in August.

BAARS: Okay.

EVANS: It was late August-early September, when I made these. And, they
cover quite a bit of ground so it’s kinda hard to summarize, but the
basic gist is that I saw that there was this guy -- this reporter who was
on the ground on August 12th. His name is Ford Fischer, and he was
filming right around the time when the car attack happened. He had a
camera set-up – he had like a tripod and he had both his phone and his
camera – he had like a camcorder.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: And he had a livestream going, so it was broadcasting live as he was


filming directly to his Youtube and to his Facebook account. And I
didn’t see it at the time, but I saw it probably about a week, a week-
and-a-half after August 12th. So probably around August 18th or 19th or
so I came across it. And his video is filled with information. He
actually filmed James Fields’s car before the car attack on Water Street,
heading East.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: So about 7 minutes prior to – well, so one key in my mind about his
videos is that you can actually hear the car attack on his video. He’s
not filming it – he’s like a block and a half away – but you can hear the
crash.

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
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BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: So you know in his video when the incident takes place. And based on
that, you can discern how far prior to the car attack certain things that
he’s filming occurred. Because it’s unedited, it’s being broadcast live.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: And so about seven minutes prior to the attack, you see Fields’s car
going East on Water Street. And then about five minutes prior to the
car attack, he [Ford Fischer] passes through the intersection where the
attack happened. He’s going East on Water Street, and he passes 4th
Street, and he passes that intersection. And you know it’s five minutes
prior, because of the timeline of his video--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: --when you hear the sound, and when he passes through, you see the
maroon van, which was the first van in line--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: --It’s already parked at the intersection. It’s at the intersection, it’s in
the cross – it’s basically where it was when it was hit. And it’s stopped
there. And there’s people around, but they’re not that many people.
And the intersection is kind of clear. And so based on that, when I first
saw that I was kind of puzzled by it, because, you know, why was this
van stopped there five minutes prior to the attack? Didn’t seem like it
had to be stopped. The intersection wasn’t obstructed, at that point,
anyway. And, so that was the first thing – well the first thing I noticed
was the Dodge Challenger, seeing it before the attack, that was kind of
eerie. But then the van thing was kind of weird. And I kept watching
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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
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it -- and so he [Ford] kept going East on Water Street, and he went up


5th Street. And he -- at the intersection of 5th Street and Main Street he
took a break, and there’s a water fountain down there, and he’s still
filming all this--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: And he went over and got a drink of water, and he had his camcorder
with him, and as he’s gettings his drink of water he set it down, like to
rest it, so that it’s kind of stationary. But as it’s stationary, it’s pointing
West. So he’s at this water fountain, which is just about a quarter-
block east of the intersection of 5th & Main. Right in front of the
parking garage there--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: --on Main Street. But his camera’s pointing [West], and this is about –
I’d say the point at which he gets his water is right about two minutes
prior to when you hear the car attack. So it’s right before. And, he’s
about a block, block and a quarter away from that intersection [of 4th
and Main, where Fields’s car passed] but he’s filming, and you see
Fields’s car arrive at the scene in his [Ford’s] livestream. You see it – it
comes, it passes over 4th Street and Main Street, you see it pass through
the intersection. It’s going probably about 10 miles per hour. And it’s
kind of hard to make out at first because he [Ford] is a block and a
quarter away or so, and it’s not the best quality footage, but it’s clearly
the Dodge Challenger, when you look at the shape of the car and you
look at the color of it.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
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EVANS: And that Dodge Challenger passes through that intersection a minute
15 seconds prior to when you hear the car attack. So James Fields’s car
arrived at the scene a minute 15 seconds prior to when it crashed into
the crowd. And when I saw that, I was like, “Okay, what is this?”
Why – you know, I wasn’t aware of this. I saw this, it was probably
August 20th or so when I noticed this finally, it might’ve been even
after that.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: You know, probably almost two weeks after the incident. I noticed
that, and it was just kinda puzzling because, you know, I had seen all
the footage. It seemed like the car had just driven straight down the
street. Just come straight from Market Street, and just driven straight
into the crowd. And that’s what I had thought had happened, but then
you watch Ford Fischer’s video and it’s clearly not what happened,
because the car was there a minute 15 seconds before.

BAARS: Hmm.

EVANS: And I actually called up Ford Fischer, and I talked to him about this,
and he wasn’t aware that this was on his video. He was like, ‘wow, I
didn’t even know that.’ [not a direct quote, my paraphrase]. So I made
these videos, and the first video I made about it was called
“Charlottesville’s Zapruder Film”--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: And I go through his [Ford’s] video in detail, and all the aspects of it,
and there are a few follow-ups, and Ford Fischer and I had kind of an
internet “dispute”, if you will. He disagreed with some of my

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
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characterizations, and we went back and forth a little bit. And I made
about six videos about it, and then I abandoned it. Well I didn’t really
abandon it, but I was getting a lot of heat.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: A lot of heat. Getting a lot of angry people messaging on my videos


and kind of, what I considered veiled threats of legal action against
me. There were anonymous Youtube accounts who were saying that
Ford Fischer should sue me for misusing his footage or whatever, and I
didn’t know who these people were, but I was concerned about it
because I was getting a lot of that, and it was just me making these
videos.

BAARS: Yeah.

EVANS: And so I made the decision to kind of take a step back and let the heat
cool down a little.

BAARS: So about when was this?

EVANS: Early September.

BAARS: Okay.

EVANS: That’s when I kind of stepped away from this issue. And then -- but I
was still kind of following the news about it. But still at that point, the
only information that I was aware of that suggested that the car had
arrived a minute before the accident was his [Ford’s] video. And I
thought that that was really kind of important. And then -- so I was
following the news, and then on December 14th Fields has this
preliminary hearing, and I’m reading the news articles after the

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
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hearing, and they talk about these videos that they showed at the
hearing.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: And these videos apparently show precisely what Ford Fischer’s video
showed, precisely what I was talking about. They show the car
arriving early, stopping, and kind of unclear about where the car
stopped--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: --but, based on Fischer’s video, it’s beyond Main Street. So the car
passes beyond Main Street on 4th Street. It goes through the
intersection, and you can’t see it on Ford’s video anymore, so it goes
somewhere into the vicinity of where the crowd already is at that
point. But these videos shown at the preliminary hearing, they show
the car passing that intersection, I guess, stopping – for how long, none
of the articles say – and at some point reversing back up 4th Street, in
reverse – how far, it’s not clear, but probably is about a block up 4th
Street, probably close to where Market Street intersects with 4th Street--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: --although I can’t say for sure. The car backs up all the way, and then
at some point after it backs up, it accelerates towards the crowd, and
that’s where all the video that we saw probably kicks in, I would
imagine. So, I had stepped away, kind of, from the thing, and I was
reading these articles, and saw the discussion in the articles about
these videos, and I was, “This is exactly what I was talking about.”

BAARS: Yeah.
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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
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EVANS: It kind of vindicates what I was saying. So the very next day, on the
15th [of December], I issued Freedom of Information Act requests. I
sent one to the City of Charlottesville, it was directed to Miriam
Dickler and Joe Rice--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: Who were then -- I think Rice might still there, but Dickler’s not.

BAARS: Right.

EVANS: And they didn’t respond initially. So, under the statute, they’re
supposed to respond to me within five business days. And there was
radio silence. So then I issued a second request the day after
Christmas, and I got this kind of panicked response from the FOIA
Officer there. She tried to ask for extra time, which under the statute
she’s not allowed to ask for without a justification.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: But eventually, on January 2nd, I got a response from the City, and they
cited this “motion to withdraw all exhibits”. That’s the language they
used. And they admitted in their response that the videos had been
played in open court, but that the videos were no longer publicly
available because the Commonwealth’s Attorney issued a “motion to
withdraw all exhibits”.

BAARS: Yeah.

EVANS: And they said they were no longer contained in the case file. And so I
had some questions about that, I sent some questions to them about
what this motion was, because I hadn’t heard of it before, and they [the

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
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City] directed all my questions to the Commonwealth’s Attorney


office. And then later, a couple days after that, on the 5th, I had a
phone conversation with the Commonwealth’s Attorney, with Mr.
Platania and with Ms. Antony, and we talked about this -- this “motion
to withdraw all exhibits” – and they confirmed that they had issued
one, they said that they didn’t want to make the videos available to the
broader public, but they acknowledged that they had been made
available to the public. And I asked them over the phone whether they
would release the videos to me, and they said ‘No.’ [my paraphrase]
And then later I issued a more formal, written, FOIA request to Mr.
Platania, and they gave me the same response that the City gave me.
So, at that point, I can either go away, or I can fight them.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: And I decided to fight them. And so my lawsuit, it’s kind of a two-
fronted lawsuit against both Mr. Platania/the Commonwealth’s
Attorneys office and the City of Charlottesville. I’m suing both of
them – or I’m petitioning the Court, asking the Court to order both of
them to comply with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: --which I believe requires them to show me what they’ve already


released to the public. So that’s one part of the lawsuit. The other part,
it’s against only Mr. Platania, in his role as Commonwealth’s Attorney.
This “motion to withdraw all exhibits”, in my opinion, is unlawful. I
don’t think they have the right to do that. The Supreme Court of the
United States, and the Virginia Supreme Court, and all sorts of courts,
they have very strict procedures about how a court has to go about

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sealing the record of a case. They can seal the record, but they have to
provide notice to the public, they have to provide the public with a
reason, explain why--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: The words are “compelling government interest.” They have to give
this reason in the public record, and the public has to be given a right
to object and be heard, because the public has the right to see the court
records normally. And in this case, none of that happened. I have the
transcript of the hearing. The court reporter couldn’t even make out
the motion to withdraw all exhibits, it’s not even in there.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: The court reporter has, in the record -- it says “(unintelligible)”.

BAARS: Oh.

EVANS: So the court reporter couldn’t even hear what she [Antony] was asking
for. And if you read it, it’s not really clear what she’s asking for. There
was no opportunity for the public to object, there was no separate
hearing for the motion to seal, there was no public explanation for why
they were withdrawing these exhibits. All of that is unconstitutional.
And the public has a right to object to that and to intervene in a case
like the Fields case, to ask the Court to order the state to protect the
public’s rights as its supposed to. So, the other part of my case is I’m
asking the Court to order Mr. Platania to return the videos to the
record.

BAARS: I think what’s unclear to me is what does it mean for you if Mr.
Fields’s car was there a minute before the accident?
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EVANS: I can answer that. But the more important thing is that, given that the
videos have been released--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: These videos, they could be videos of – I don’t want to make light of it,
so I probably shouldn’t say this – but they could be videos of a Sesame
Street.

BAARS: Yeah, yeah, I know exactly what you’re saying.

EVANS: They could be a public exhibit, it could be something meaningless, and


it’s still a public record at that point.

BAARS: Yeah.

EVANS: But, as I said – I made these videos about Ford Fischer’s video and
about the Challenger arriving early.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: I think that’s an important fact, that really, most people aren’t aware
of. I think most of your readers probably aren’t aware of it. Certainly
there were a lot of witnesses at the time who said things that don’t
really seem to match up with the apparent fact that the Challenger was
there a minute 15 seconds before the attack. Now, there may be other
witnesses that did say things that match up. I’m not really aware of
those witnesses.

BAARS: Uh-huh.

EVANS: I haven’t -- I’m not privy to all of what the detectives have in their case
file, obviously. I’m only aware of what’s been publicly reported. But I

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
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think it’s an important fact of the case that this guy, who allegedly
drove his car into this crowd of people --

BAARS: Uh-huh.

EVANS: --for perhaps racist reasons, that he was there for, you know, a pretty
good period of time. A minute 15 seconds. It’s a relevant fact of the
case. He didn’t just drive into the crowd. He didn’t just come down
Market Street and just accelerate. Something else happened. Now
what it was, I can’t say.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: But I think the release of the videos – the broader release of the videos
that have already been shown in court – would maybe not explain it all
the way, but they would go part of the way to explaining what that is.

BAARS: Uh huh.

EVANS: And I think part of the problem also is that – and I outline this in my
filing – is that the fact of the partial release of these videos in court, it’s
kind of created a new issue which is that the articles that describe what
the videos contain are not all in line with each other. There’s some
internal contradictions there. It’s not the prosecutor’s fault that these
contradictions exist, but they do exist. And you can read, for example,
CNN reported that the videos show Fields stopping “a block and a half
away” from the protesters--

BAARS: Uh-huh.

EVANS: [ ] CNN says th[at Fields] stopped “a block and a half away”, then
reversed, and then drove at the crowd. The Washington Post says that

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Fields stopped, reversed “more than a block”, and then drove at the
crowd. If you read those two things together, he [Fields] would have
had to stop a block and a half away, and then backed up more than a
block, which would mean that he backed up beyond Market Street on
Fourth Street, because there’s only two blocks between Market and
Water Street. And I really don’t think that’s what happened. I don’t
think he crossed backwards over Market Street. So one of those two
reports is wrong. I’m pretty sure it’s the CNN report.

BAARS: Uh-huh.

EVANS: But that kind of problem is created by the kind of veiled public release
of this to the people in court but not to the rest of the public. And
there’s another error that I describe in my filing about the Washington
Post article. There’s a factual error in there that I think is just the
reporter’s fault-

BAARS: Yeah.

EVANS: I think he just made a mistake. But these are problems that could
easily be cured by a public release of the videos. This is the result of
having reporters view something in court and describe it in their
articles but not have the ability to check the record of the videotape
before doing so. And if the public had access to the video, then these
errors wouldn’t mean much, but because the public doesn’t, they do
mean something because we don’t actually know what the video
shows.

BAARS: Why do you want to know so badly?

EVANS: Because I’m interested in the case.

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BAARS: Here’s what I think you think. I think you think it’s a conspiracy. Is
that true?

EVANS: Well, I know where you’re going with this, and let me just tell you: I
reject the term “conspiracy theorist” for myself.

BAARS: Okay.

EVANS: I reject it overtly. It’s a pejorative term. Whether it meant something


at some point… [shrugs] But I don’t accept it for myself, I do view it as
a pejorative, kind of ad hominem attack, so I don’t accept that for
myself.

BAARS: Okay.

EVANS: But the apparent facts are, based on this video, and what it apparently
contains based on the public reporting, is that something happened
that is not consistent with what we were told back in August. He
[Fields] was there early – a minute 15 seconds early – and he – there
was a movement of his car--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: --that the public really wasn’t told about until December, when these
videos were released. And I think it’s an important part of the story
that needs to be told.

BAARS: Okay.

EVANS: And I understand as a reporter that you have to – if you were to report
this story – that you have to have an angle. And I understand that it

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may be tempting to frame this – and I walked into this – like


“Conspiracy Theorist Sues Charlottesville Government”.

BAARS: Right.

EVANS: And so I kind of walked into this interview with the knowledge that
that’s probably how this would go. I don’t accept that term for myself.
I view that as a pejorative attack.

BAARS: Yeah.

EVANS: But, having said that, I do believe that this is the kind of thing that
needs some press. I think the public needs to know that there are
videos out there of this car attack that are being withheld from them by
the local government. And the local government hasn’t given a reason
for why it’s doing that.

BAARS: Yeah.

EVANS: They’re just not disclosing them. And I think the people have a right
to know that these videos exist, they’re being withheld, the
government hasn’t given a reason for why they’re doing so, and that
what these videos show is potentially an important part of the story.

BAARS: Have you been able to see the documentary “Charlottesville: Our
Streets”? Or are you aware of it?

EVANS: Uh…doesn’t ring a bell. I may be aware of it once you describe it.

BAARS: Some people in town are making this film about the day. It’s kind of in
a timeline format. And it premiered at the Virginia Film Festival in
November.

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EVANS: Okay.

BAARS: And I only saw it – it’s only been shown I think three times so far in
town.

EVANS: Okay.

BAARS: I saw it a couple weekends ago. And there is some footage in the film
that’s aerial footage. And I believe it comes from the VSP [Virginia
State Police] helicopter.

EVANS: Really?

BAARS: I’m almost certain. So I’m unsure how—and I meant to ask--

EVANS: Is it footage of the car attack or is it footage just of, like, the other--

BAARS: It’s of the car.

EVANS: Before the attack? Or--

BAARS: It’s -- I don’t remember exactly, but it’s immediately before and
during, if I’m remembering correctly.

EVANS: Huh.

BAARS: So I’m unsure how they have that footage, but they were able to get a
hold of it--

EVANS: I may have to ask them about that.

BAARS: Yeah.

EVANS: I’m not sure they’ll give me an answer. Do you know who produced
the movie?

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BAARS: Jackson Landers is the director of it.

EVANS: Okay.

BAARS: And he’s a local journalist in town. I’m sure it’s not very hard to find
his information online.

EVANS: Yeah. That is interesting, yeah. So I’ll -- is it on the internet? Do you


know if it’s available?

BAARS: It’s not.

EVANS: Okay. So if I were to want to see that, how would I – do you know
how I would go about doing it?

BAARS: That’s a good question because I think a lot of people have wanted to
see it and haven’t been able to because of the limited number of
viewings.

EVANS: So it was only shown in like a public kind of showcase?

BAARS: As far as I know.

EVANS: Okay.

BAARS: They showed it at the Film Festival and then a couple weekends ago
they had two showings at the--

EVANS: You said it was a November film festival?

BAARS: Yeah. The Virginia Film Festival.

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EVANS: Okay. Yeah that’s interesting. I think I might have heard of that
documentary, but I haven’t seen it, and I wasn’t aware that they had
footage from the helicopter in there.

BAARS: Yeah. And I’m not sure – I actually wasn’t at the Fields hearing on the
14th of December. I was outside, I was not inside.

EVANS: Did you try to get in?

BAARS: They were only allowing one media representative from each paper or
station, so Lisa was the one who was covering that, and I just kind of
stuck around outside to see that excitement. But I’m not sure if the
footage they showed that day was from the helicopter, the state
helicopter. I actually don’t know.

EVANS: I know there were drones and stuff. I’m going to have to check into
that, because if that was released to the movie producer, then that’s,
you know, that’s another--

BAARS: Yeah. The first time I saw any aerial footage, I’m pretty sure, was in
that documentary.

EVANS: Yeah. Well there are a few drone cameras that I’ve seen. So not the
helicopter, but like, mechanical.

BAARS: Uh-huh.

EVANS: So it’s possible that that is what it was.

BAARS: It could’ve been. So you’d definitely have to ask.

EVANS: But depends on how it was moving -- the drones are very stationary.
They kind of sit there and don’t move. The helicopter is probably…

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
C-Ville Weekly Offices

BAARS: I honestly can’t remember.

EVANS: Okay.

BAARS: But that’s something to check into.

EVANS: Yeah, thank you. That’s definitely something I will have to check into.
One thing, I don’t know if you’d know the answer to this or not, but I
figure I’ll ask you since you were outside. So I wasn’t here during the
hearing. I kinda wish that I was.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: My sense is that, if I had been here and if I had tried to get in, there’s a
decent chance that maybe I wouldn’t have even been able to get in,
based on how big the courtroom was--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: --and how packed it seemed to have been, and you said that only one
person from your paper--

BAARS: Yeah.

EVANS: Do you know that – say that a random person in the public like me
were to have walked up that day and tried to get in. Do you think that
I would have been able to [get in]?

BAARS: I think it just depends on how early you got there.

EVANS: Yeah?

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
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BAARS: Because there were definitely people who were turned away. I ended
up going in – you know there were several hearings happening that
day--

EVANS: Yup.

BAARS: --so I ended up going in just as a member of the public, I’m pretty sure,
for one of them, and I was able to find a seat.

EVANS: That was after Fields’s hearing, right? Or before?

BAARS: It was before.

EVANS: Before, okay.

BAARS: It was during Richard Preston’s hearing [that] I was able to go in as a


member of the public. But there were a lot of people outside and it’s
my impression that people were being turned away.

EVANS: Yeah. I’ve watched videos of the outside of the hearing--

BAARS: Uh-huh.

EVANS: --and I saw the barricades and all the cops, and all of that--

BAARS: Yeah. There was a lot going on outside.

EVANS: I’ve seen how big the courthouse was, also. And all the media
descriptions of the hearings kind of say it was a packed room.

BAARS: Yeah. With that being said, something that we found kind of odd is
that there – when I was allowed to go in, there were a couple rows of
seats that were empty, and so we think that--

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
C-Ville Weekly Offices

EVANS: At the back or the front?

BAARS: Kind of in the middle.

EVANS: The middle?

BAARS: We think that maybe those were saved for witnesses, or family…

EVANS: Could’ve been the victims--

BAARS: Or something like that, but--

EVANS: There was only one witness, so it probably wasn’t him.

BAARS: Well—because all -- I think there were three hearings going at the
same time, so they might have kept more space open.

EVANS: Oh yeah. Yeah you’re right. Yeah, I don’t really know anything about
those other hearings, I just know they happened.

BAARS: Yeah. And it was all August 12th related.

EVANS: Yeah.

BAARS: That hearing was supposed to take place in Charlottesville General


District Court, but because they were expecting so many people, they
moved it to the larger courthouse.

EVANS: Right. Right. That’s kind of the procedural peculiarity of this whole
thing, is that, you know, they told me that they issued this “motion to
withdraw exhibits”. And it’s not in the transcript--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
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EVANS: --but I’m accepting their word, essentially, that they did that, because
there’s this “(unintelligible)” part. But it’s like, you know – the way
it’s supposed to work, based on the Virginia Code, is that, when you
certify a criminal – a felony case to the grand jury, all of the evidence is
supposed to automatically become part of the circuit court’s record of
the case.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: Immediately. Like the moment of certification. And in this case what
they seem to have tried to do – by “they”, I mean the prosecutors – is
they tried to present the evidence, get the judge to certify, and then the
moment before he’s statutorily required to transfer the evidence to the
circuit [court], they kind of ask for all the evidence back, and take it out
of the record. And it’s really not supposed to work that way, you
know, and there’s actually a case that’s kind of similar, where a court
tried to do a similar thing, where the Virginia Supreme Court just said
that “You can’t do this”, basically.

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

EVANS: Like, if you try to withdraw the evidence you’re basically trying to seal
the record. It’s the same exact thing. And if you want to do that, you
can, but you have to comply with what the Supreme Court has said
you have to do if you want to seal the record. But it seems like they
tried to find this procedural kind of quirk in the timeline for
certification--

BAARS: Mmm-hmm.

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
C-Ville Weekly Offices

EVANS: And just try to pull everything out right before they certify. And I
don’t know why they did that. To me – I don’t know what their
argument is going to be. But traditionally, when you’re trying to seal a
case, the argument is one of two things. Sometimes there’s private
information in the evidence, like if it’s evidence that contains social
security numbers--

BAARS: Sure.

EVANS: --or something, like if it’s child pornography, obviously you want to
seal it--

BAARS: Yeah.

EVANS: --you don’t want to have children be affected. So if there’s a third


party who’s affected, that’s a rationale. Another rationale is if the
defendant might have a risk to his right to a fair trial affected. If it’s
something that could inflame the public and inflame the jury pool in a
way that might affect the defendant’s right to have a fair trial. But in
this case, based on the [video] descriptions [in the press], I think the
video that’s already publicly available is far more graphic than what
they showed.

BAARS: Yeah.

EVANS: I think the surveillance footage doesn’t even show the crowd. And the
helicopter is way up high, and the footage that’s already out there is a
lot worse, I would imagine.

BAARS: Yeah.

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
C-Ville Weekly Offices

EVANS: So I don’t know what their argument is going to be. I can’t imagine
what it would be, because I think what’s already out there is so much
worse. I don’t – you know, I couldn’t even speculate on why the state
wanted to pull this stuff out. So we’ll see, if they file a responsive
briefing, what they say. And they might just -- you know, one thing
that they could do, if they don’t want to fight me on this – they could
just release it before--

BAARS: Uh-huh.

EVANS: -- and then at that point my case is over.

BAARS: Yeah, yeah. Sure. Well do keep us updated on what happens. And I
think that’s all that I wanted to ask.

EVANS: Okay.

BAARS: Thank you for stopping by. I’d also like to get a picture of you, if I can.

EVANS: Sure. Do you want a hat-on or hat-off picture?

BAARS: Whatever you like.

EVANS: Alright, well, we’ll do hat-off. Glasses-on or glasses-off?

BAARS: Whatever you like. This is about you.

EVANS: Alright, alright. Glasses-on.

BAARS: Alright. Okay, ready? Okay, thank you.

EVANS: Okay. Okay thank you, Samantha, appreciate it.

BAARS: Yeah. No problem.

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
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EVANS: If you -- I guess I’ll check, you know, if you publish something.

BAARS: Yeah, so we -- I don’t know how much you know about C-Ville
Weekly, we publish once a week. We come out on Wednesdays, so we
already have a full story list for this coming Wednesday.

EVANS: Yeah.

BAARS: Um, maybe something in the next issue.

EVANS: Okay. And just so you’re aware, I put in – I sent you all my court
filings—

BAARS: Yeah.

EVANS: --but I just want to make you aware of it. So there’s a – let me get the
actual petition. Because I put this in particularly for the media, just to
protect myself, and I just want to make you aware of it. So this is
essentially what I filed, let me just pull out the part. So I describe
myself in this beginning part of my affidavit. And if you look at
number 4 there--

BAARS: Okay.

[It reads “4. Evans has no association with, and does not support or
endorse the views of, any of the individuals, groups, or entities that
were marching, demonstrating, protesting, or otherwise present in
downtown Charlottesville on August 12, 2017.”]

EVANS: I put that there just for the media. I don’t have any association with
Richard Spencer or Jason Kessler or anybody of that nature. I’ve never
spoken to any of them--

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Transcript: Samantha Baars interview of William Evans February 2, 2018
C-Ville Weekly Offices

BAARS: Yeah.

EVANS: --and I don’t want to speak to any of them. And this is in a legal filing
that I’ve sworn to, and so, I don’t want to be mischaracterized.

BAARS: Okay. Sure. Thanks a lot for stopping by.

EVANS: Okay, thank you.

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