JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI – On June 26th, 2011, Deryl Dedmon, a 19-year-old from Mississippi, hit and killed James Craig-Anderson with his pickup truck. Dedmon did it on purpose and he did it because Anderson was black.
Dedmon, who originally plead not guilty, changed his plea today and was sentenced to serve two life sentences for Anderson’s murder. Dedmon apologized for the heinous act today in court. Dedmon said:
“I’m sincerely sorry and I take full responsibility for my actions that night. I pray for ya’ll families everyday that god will soften your hearts to forgive me… I do not ask y’all to forget, but I do ask y’all to forgive.”
WLOX reports that Dedmon and some of his friends set out on June 26th with the intention of harassing black people.
Assistant District Attorney Scott Rogillio said:
“The defendant deliberately used his vehicle to run over the victim, someone inside the car yelled a racial slur, the defendant was on his way back to the truck, raised his fist and yelled white power.”
Dedmon could have been sentenced to death but Anderson’s family asked prosecutors not to seek the death penalty. The Anderson family did, however, file a wrongful death lawsuit against the seven teens who were in the truck with Dedmon during the incident.
Do you think Deryl Dedmon got what he deserved?
Unfortunately, Dedmon isn’t the only person in the news for a hate crime today. George Zimmerman claims that he killed an unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin, in self defense, but many claim that Trayvon’s murder was race related.