Three white young men admitted they had beat, ran over and killed a 47-year-old car plant worker in Mississippi’s capital city while they were out hunting black people. They are all from Brandon, Mississippi and They were all charged in the June 2011 death of James Craig Anderson.
Deryl Paul Dedmon, 22, was sentenced to 50 years, John Aaron Rice, 21, to 18 ½ years and Dylan Wade Butler, 23, to 7 years for commissions of a hate crime by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves. Moreover Dedmon also faces two life sentences in a Mississippi prison after pleading guilty in a state court back in 2012 to capital murder and hate crime.
According to prosecutors, the youngsters used to harass black people who they had believed were either homeless or intoxicated. Their victims were chosen according to the belief they would never go to the police. Harassments began in April 2011 and culminated with the death of Anderson.
Dedmon was driving the truck that ran over Anderson in the parking lot of a Jackson hotel. The entire scene was caught on a security camera from the hotel. The video was obtained by The Associated Press and other media. It shows a Ford truck that backs up and then lunges towards Anderson, whose shirt is illuminated by the headlights before disappearing under the vehicle.
“The sad thing is these … hunts were instigated by our children, these kids,” Judge Reeves, who is black, said. “The victims were targeted because of their race. These three defendants and others made a joint decision to act on racial hatred.”
During their court appearance, all three youngsters were wearing red prison jumpsuits and they were all shackled at the waist and ankles. They were taken to a podium in order to apologize to members of Anderson’s family for their pitiless actions.
In the meantime, seven other defendants in the case are still awaiting their sentences. They are: Joseph Paul Dominick, Jonathan Kyle Gaskamp, William Kirk Montgomery, Sarah Adelia Graves, John Louis Blalack, Shelbie Brooke Richards and Robert Henry Rice. The first three will be sentenced on on Feb. 25. The other four will be sentenced in April by U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate.