SuperTalk Mississippi

Final Guilty Pleas in Hate Crimes Case

JACKSON, Miss. — The last of 10 people charged in racially motivated beatings that eventually lead to the death of a black man in Jackson have made confessions to a judge.

John Blalack and Robert Rice, both of Brandon, ended their legal fight during hearings Wednesday in a Jackson Federal Courtroom.

Blalack, 20, pleaded guilty to two felony hate crime charges and faces up to 20 years in prison plus fines of up to $500,000.

Rice, 21, pleaded guilty to one felony hate crime charge and could get up to 10 years in jail and pay $250,000 in fines.

Eight others have already admitted to their roles.  They told prosecutors they conspired with each other to harass and beat up blacks in Jackson, choosing people they believed were homeless or under the influence of alcohol.

The attacks came to an end in 2011 when James Craig Anderson was run over and killed in West Jackson.

Rice’s brother, John Aaron Rice, Dylan Butler and Deryl Dedmon pleaded guilty in 2012 in Anderson’s death.

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