JACKSON, Miss. – Three Rankin County men were sentenced to federal prison Tuesday for their roles in hate crime attacks that eventually killed a black man in Jackson over three years ago.
For that murder, which was seen on security video, Deryl Dedmon, John Aaron Rice and Dylan Butler had pled guilty. Dedmon will be in jail a total of 50 years; Rice, 18 years and six months; and Butler 7 years. Once out of prison, they will be on supervised release for three years; and have to enter an alcohol treatment program.
Dedmon, who beat James Craig Anderson and killed him by running over him with a truck, pleaded guilty to two state charges in 2012 and is currently serving life sentences.
“All is well,” said Anderson’s sister Barber Anderson Young, while leaving the court house. While she declined further comment, in court she told Dedmon, Rice and Butler that “the Anderson family forgives… and leaves vengeance to the Father.”
In a victim impact statement, Anderson’s partner of 17 years, James Bradfield wrote that there is no room on earth for people like Dedmon, Rice and Butler. “I hope you never see daylight again,” his statement said.
However, Winston Thompson, attorney for the Anderson family, said they’re pleased with the judge’s decisions. “I think under the terms of the agreements that was negotiated, there were some maximum and minimum sentences; and I believe, if my memory serves me correctly, they (the defendants) were given the maximum under the agreements that were negotiated. “
In a show of remorse, Dedmon, Rice and Butler each stood facing Anderson’s family to apologize. In addition to their apologies, Rice and Butler said they each acted out of character the night Anderson’s died; and that they had not been raised to be racists.
The three were among a group of 10 white teens that admitted to traveling to Jackson to harass and assault African Americans. Reeves will sentence Joseph Paul Dominick, William Kirk Montgomery and Jonathan Kyle Gaskamp on February 25.
Four others, Sarah Graves, Shelbie Richards, John Blalack and Robert Rice, will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate in April.
——- Watch raw video of remakes from Anderson’s family’s attorney following sentencing —-