White teen pleads guilty in Miss. hate crime
JACKSON, Miss. - A white teenager pleaded guilty to murder and a hate crime Wednesday for running over a black man with his pickup truck in a killing a judge called a stain on Mississippi that will take years to fade.
Nineteen-year-old Deryl Dedmon apologized to the victim's family before he received two life sentences for the June 26 death of James Craig Anderson, a 47-year-old car plant worker who loved to sing in his church choir and was remembered for his sense of humor.
Dedmon, a slight, blonde man wearing a blue jumpsuit, looked down as prosecutors described the killing.
Dedmon admitted that he and a group of white teens were partying in Puckett, a small town outside the capital city, when he suggested they find a black man to harass and went to Jackson because of its majority-black population.
They found Anderson before dawn outside a hotel. He was beaten before Dedmon ran over him.
Prosecutors say Dedmon and others had targeted blacks for harassment before, usually homeless or drunk people who weren't likely to report it to police.