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Friday, March 23, 2012
Deryl Dedmon Pleads Guilty to Miss. Hate Crime Charges

Deryl Dedmon Pleads Guilty to Miss. Hate Crime Charges

Deryl Dedmon, a white teen, pleaded guilty to murder and hate crime charges in a Mississippi courtroom on Wednesday over the June 2011 death of 47-year-old James Craig Anderson, an African-American.

Dedmon, 19, ran over the car plant worker with his pickup truck after a group of seven teens, looking to harass an African-American, found Anderson and beat him before ultimately killing him.

The teen was sentenced to two life sentences for the crime, but insists he has found God and is a changed man.

"I wish I could take it all back," Dedmon said at the court as he addressed Anderson's family in the Mississippi courtroom on Wednesday.

"I am sincerely sorry. I do take responsibility for my actions that night. I pray for y'all's family every day … and that God will soften your hearts to forgive me," Dedmon said.

"I do not ask y'all to forget, but I do ask y'all to forgive," he added.

A video of Jackson's death, taken by a hotel parking lot surveillance camera, captured imagery of Dedmon running over Jackson and driving away.

The video shows a green Ford pickup truck backing up in the hotel parking lot and then lunging forward over a parking lot curb as it ran over Jackson's body. The Ford then sped away.

"I was young. I was dumb. I was ignorant. I was not raised the way I acted that night. I was raised in a godly house," Dedmon told the court.

Dedmon was driving the vechile the evening of the murder and it is believed that two girls were in the car with him at the time of the incident. Another teen, John Aaron Rice, was charged with simple assault in the case.

Although he has been sentenced by a state court, Dedmon may also face federal charges for the murder. His sentencing is expected in June and the teen may receive a life sentence for Anderson's death.

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