AFRICANGLOBE – Three white teens have been jailed after admitting they were out hunting Black people when they used their truck to run over and kill James Craig Anderson.
Deryl Paul Dedmon, now 22, was sentenced to 50 years in a federal prison after the murder of 47-year-old James Craig Anderson in Jackson, Mississippi.
John Aaron Rice was also sentenced to 18-and-a-half years in jail while Dylan Wade Butler must serve seven years after being convicted of commission of a hate crime.
Dedmon from Brandon, Mississippi, pleaded guilty to capital murder and hate crime after Mr Anderson, a car plant worker in Mississippi’s capital, was killed in June 2011.
He was at the wheel of a truck that ran over Mr Anderson in the parking lot of a Jackson hotel with the incident being was caught on a security camera at the hotel.
The surveillance video shows the white Jeep Cherokee in which Rice was a passenger leaving a hotel parking lot.
Less than 20 seconds later, a Ford truck backs up and then lunges forward and Mr Anderson’s shirt is illuminated in the headlights before he disappears under the vehicle next to the curb.
Appearing in court, all three, wearing red prison jumpsuits and shackled at the waist and ankles, took to a podium to apologize to members of Anderson’s family for their actions.
Dedmon said: ‘I want to tell the Anderson family how truly sorry I am.’
The apologies came after an impassioned condemnation of their actions from Mr Anderson’s sister, Barbara.
She said her brother’s death came ‘at the hands of these strangers with eyes full of hatred.’
She added her brother ‘helplessly fought to stay alive’ as he was attacked by people he did not know.
Prosecutors said the youths harassed or assaulted Black people who they thought were homeless or intoxicated.
Victims were chosen because they thought they would not tell police, authorities said with the harassment beginning in April 2011, culminating in the death of Mr Anderson.
They pleaded guilty in March 2012 to one count of conspiracy and one count of committing a hate crime.
Each was sentenced to five years on the conspiracy count to run concurrent with the other.
In Dedmon’s case, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves said the federal sentenced would run concurrent with his state sentence.
The judge added: ‘What these people did was ugly, painful and sad and criminal.
Before sentencing, he also told the courtroom that Mr Anderson’s death reflected the ‘inhumanity of racism’ with which Mississippi has dealt throughout its history.
He explained: ‘”The sad thing is these … hunts were instigated by our children, these kids.
‘The victims were targeted because of their race. These three defendants and others made a joint decision to act on racial hatred.’
Meanwhile seven other defendants in the case are still awaiting sentencing.
They include Joseph Paul Dominick, William Kirk Montgomery and Jonathan Kyle Gaskamp.
Dominick pleaded guilty to conspiracy in 2013 and faces five years in prison.
Montgomery, who pleaded guilty in 2012, faces life in prison on a hate crime charge and five years on conspiracy, while Gaskamp, who wasn’t present the night Anderson died, pleaded guilty in 2012 alsofaces five years in prison for conspiracy and 10 years on a hate crime charge.
Others also awaiting sentence are Sarah Adelia Graves, Shelbie Brooke Richards, John Louis Blalack and Robert Henry Rice.
By: Jennifer Newton
The Murder Of James Craig-Anderson