'Race hate': Two teenagers are said to have run down James Craig Anderson
It’s alleged that the pair, both 18, were looking for a black man to assault in Jackson, with one of them later bragging on the phone to a friend about killing 49-year-old father James Craig Anderson.
Mr Anderson, who is of African-American descent, was run over by a Ford pickup outside a Jackson hotel near dawn on June 26 and died later in hospital, District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith said during a bond hearing for Deryl Dedmon, who is accused of driving the truck.
‘Dedmon murdered this victim because he was a black man,’ Smith said. ‘We do have information that they were rejoicing after killing the victim.’
Smith said Dedmon called a friend after the alleged crime and said: ‘I just ran that n****r over.’
He added: ‘It was an intentional act and it was a hate crime.’
The hate crime allegations resonated in Mississippi, which has a history for racial violence against blacks, particularly during the civil rights struggle.
Judge Ali Shamsiddeen increased Dedmon's bail to $800,000 (£500,000) from $50,000 after he heard more details about the hate-crime allegations.
Dedmon and accomplice John Aaron Rice are accused of assault murder.
Dedmon's attorney, Lee Agnew, said during court that he's seen nothing to back up the ‘racial allegations’ and that the prosecution’s case was based on ‘a lot of hearsay’ and ‘biased conclusions’.
Accused: John Aaron Rice (left) and Deryl Dedmon (right) allegedly went looking for a black man to murder in Jackson
Dedmon, a thin teen with blond hair, shook his head from side-to-side when Smith questioned a police detective and suggested that Anderson had been run over several times.
According to Smith said there is CCTV footage of Dedmon deliberately running over Anderson that will be shown during the trial.
Anderson was run over in a part of Jackson known for drug activity, though an attorney for his relatives said the case had nothing to do with drugs.
Witnesses provided police with a description of the truck and Dedmon was arrested later that morning after being pulled over on the freeway.
Boast: Deryl Dedmon is alleged to have bragged about the killing to a friend afterwards
The alleged race-hate crime took place in Jackson, Mississippi