White Teen Who Ran Over and Killed Black Mississippi Man Gets Life

March 22, 2012  |  

Justice has been served in the case of James Craig Anderson, the 47-year-old black Jackson, MS, man, who was run over and killed by a 19-year-old white teenager last June. Deryl Dedmon, the driver of the pickup truck that was used to murder Mr. Anderson, plead guilty to the charges and was given two life sentences for his crime.

The attack occurred in the parking lot of a motel around 5am on June 26. Surveillance video caught Dedmon and six other teenagers screaming “white power” and racial slurs while punching Anderson before Dedmon accelerated his truck and ran over the man. The teenager admitted that he and his friends had been partying in a small town outside the city when he suggested they find a black man to harass and went to Jackson because of its majority-black population. In court, Dedmon expressed remorse for his actions.

“I do not ask y’all to forget, but I do ask y’all to forgive,” he said. “I wish I could take it all back, I was young and dumb, ignorant and full of hatred. I chose to go down the wrong path.”

Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weill Sr. told Dedmon it’s too late for apologies.

“Your prejudice has brought shame upon you and placed a great stain on the state of Mississippi,” he said in court. “Whatever excuse you may offer for what you have done, forget that. There’s no excuse that you can offer for the family of Mr. Anderson or to your fellow Mississippians who have to try to reconcile the horrible damage you have caused.”

The fate of the other teenagers involved, which includes two girls, will likely be decided today when results of a Justice Department hate crime investigation are aired in court, the New York Times reports. The family has filed a wrongful death suit against all seven of the teenagers involved in the crime as well.

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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