Teen pleads guilty in hate crime killing

March 21, 2012 at 6:15 PM
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JACKSON, Miss., March 21 (UPI) -- A white Mississippi teenager Wednesday pleaded guilty to murder and hate crime charges in the hit-and-run death of a black man.

Deryl Dedmon, 19, of Brandon apologized to the family of James Anderson, 49, who was beaten and run down by a group of white teenagers last June, CNN reported.

"I wish I could take it all back," Dedmon said. "I was young and dumb, ignorant and full of hatred. I chose to go down the wrong path."

Dedmon received two life sentences without parole.

"The very walls of this courtroom cry out for justice. You have admitted killing a man simply because of his race," Hinds County Judge Jeff Weill Sr. said. "Your prejudice has brought shame upon you and placed a great stain on the state of Mississippi.

Anderson's sister, Barbara Anderson Young, called for racial reconciliation, The (Jackson0 Clarion-Ledger reported.

Prosecutors said Dedmon was one of seven white teens who had gone to Jackson after a night of drinking with the intent of targeting a black man. Police say Anderson was beaten before Dedmon ran him down.

Another teen is charged with simple assault in the attack. Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith said he expects additional arrests, CNN said.

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