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Judge Not Moved By Tears, Gives Maximum Sentence in Hate Crimes Case

JACKSON, Miss. — The youngest suspect convicted of committing hate crimes that eventually lead to the 2011 death of a black man in Jackson was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in Prison.

John Lewis Blalack was only 17-years-old at the time James Craig Anderson was beat and ran over.  Prosecutors said Blalack collected the beer bottles used to attack Anderson; detained him until others who participated in the attack arrived; and did nothing to stop them.  Blalack pleaded guilty to two felony hate crime changes in January.  Thursday, prior to sentencing, a tearful Blalack apologized to Anderson’s family.  But Judge Henry T. Wingate said he did not believe Blalack was truly sorry. “I have not seen one iota of remorse,” he told Blalack.  “You tried to squeeze out tears.  I was not impressed.”

Robert Rice, was also expected to be sentenced Thursday.  He was not present the night Anderson was killed, but admitted to participating in other attacks against blacks.  His sentencing was delayed until Friday, May 8.

 

James Craig Anderson

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