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article imageTwo Mississippi women plead guilty to hate crimes charges

By Karen Graham     Dec 14, 2014 in Crime
Jackson - Two Brandon Mississippi women have pleaded guilty to Federal hate crime charges in connection with racially-motivated attacks on African-Americans that started in the spring of 2011, leading to the death of James Craig Anderson in 2011.
Shelbie Brooke Richards and Sarah Adelia Graves, now both 21-years of age and both from Brandon, Mississippi, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Jackson to one count each of conspiracy to violate the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The maximum penalty for this crime is five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
James Craig Anderson was brutally run over with a pickup truck and killed on June 26  2011.
James Craig Anderson was brutally run over with a pickup truck and killed on June 26, 2011.
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In addition to the charge of violating the hate crimes act, Richards also pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony because she purposely concealed information from authorities on the murder of Anderson. This charge has a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and an additional $250,000 fine.
Sarah Graves  left  and Shelbie Richards  right  are facing prison after pleading guilty in connecti...
Sarah Graves, left, and Shelbie Richards, right, are facing prison after pleading guilty in connection with a series of attacks including the 2011 death of James Anderson in Jackson, Mississippi.
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The investigation started with the death of Mr. Anderson outside a hotel in Jackson. Richards and Graves admitted to the FBI they had taken part, along with others in harassing and assaulting African-Americans in West Jackson, usually targeting those who appeared to be homeless or inebriated. The group would drive from mostly white Rankin County into the majority-black West Jackson, just to assault African-Americans.
The group would use dangerous weapons such as beer bottles, sling shots, and motor vehicles, all with the purpose of trying to cause bodily harm. They said they picked on the homeless or drunks because they would be less likely to say anything. Richards said she encouraged one of her co-conspirators, Deryl Paul Dedmon, to hit Anderson with his truck, then she lied about it to investigators.
Co-conspirators Deryl Paul Dedmon, John Aaron Rice, Dylan Wade Butler, William Kirk Montgomery, Jonathan Kyle Gaskamp, and Joseph Dominick, all from Brandon, have already pleaded guilty for their roles in the attacks and murder of Anderson. They are awaiting sentencing.
More about Mississippi, Federal hate crime laws, Assaults, Homeless, Africanamericans
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