JACKSON, Miss. - A white Mississippi teenager has been indicted on capital murder and hate crime charges that he intentionally ran over a middle-age black man with a pickup truck.
Deryl Dedmon, 19, was indicted Monday in the June 26 death of James Craig Anderson, 49, a car plant worker from Jackson.
Capital murder in Mississippi is defined as murder committed along with another felony. It carries the sentences of death or life in prison without parole. The underlying offense in this case is robbery. Dedmon also was charged under Mississippi’s hate crime law, which provides for enhanced sentences. This is the first announced indictment in the case.
Dedmon’s lawyer, Lee Agnew, suggested it was an accident.
Authorities say seven white teenagers were partying in Rankin County the night of Anderson’s death when Dedmon suggested they go find a black man to mess with.
Dedmon and another teen, John Aaron Rice, allegedly beat Anderson before Dedmon jumped in a green Ford F-250 and ran over the dazed man. Authorities say Dedmon also robbed Anderson.
Rice has been free on a $5,000 bond. Dedmon has been held without bail.