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2 Mississippi Women Sentenced for the 2011 Hate Killing of Black Man

April 11, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
2 Mississippi Women Sentenced for the 2011 Hate Killing of Black Man Shelbie Brook Richard (L) James Craig Anderson (C) Sarah Adelia Graves (R)

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A Federal Judge in Mississippi sentenced Two female gang members, for their involvement in a series of racially motivated attacks including the 2011 hate killing of a 47-year-old James Craig Anderson, on Thursday.

Shelbie Brooke Richards, 21, and Sarah Adelia Graves, 22, were part of a group of white individuals who would drive around Jackson, Mississippi searching for African Americans to assault.

Richards and Graves were riding in the truck that fatally ran over Anderson, who is African American.

Richards received eight years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit a hate crime and obstruction of justice charges. Sarah Adelia Graves, 22, received a five-year prison term after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit a hate crime.

During the sentencing hearing, Both defendants read statements apologizing to the family of Anderson. “It was the worst decision of my life. I followed people filled with hate in their hearts, and I’m truly sorry for the actions I didn’t take to save Mr. Anderson’s life.”

“Every time I close my eyes, I am still haunted by Mr. Anderson’s face. I was a young teenager who partied too much and just wanted to fit in with the crowd, and I’ve asked myself many times, Why was I so afraid?’ I pray that not only for God and Mr. Anderson’s forgiveness, but pray that his family can one day forgive me,” Graves said in court.

The sister of Anderson spoke in court, calling the death of her brother a modern day lynching, who instead of using a rope, they instead used a Ford F250. She then directed her statements at both women. “You just sat by, watched, encouraged and converged around as my brother was beaten. Your thirst for the blood of an innocent African-American caused you to pour more fuel on the fire.’

Anderson’s partner James Bradfield was not forgiving as well.
“Days are never the same. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries…On a sunny day, all I can see is Craig out there working in the yard, trying to do everything he could for his family, and you took his life for no reason,’ he said. ‘And you didn’t want to turn yourself in. You thought you’d get away with it.’

A different judge had earlier handed out prison terms to six white males for Anderson’s death, ranging from 4 to 50 years. Another two defendants await sentencing.

Both Richards and Graves admitted to helping recruit people during an alcohol-fueled birthday party and taking part in the racially motivated attacks, which led directly Anderson’s death.

Police said the group encountered Anderson at a hotel parking lot before dawn on June 26th.

Richards admitted to yelling racial insults as Deryl Paul Dedmon assaulted Anderson. As he returned to the truck, Richards and Graves encouraged him to run over Anderson.

Richards eventually confessed to lying to police investigators about her involvement in the incident. All ten defendants in the case have entered guilty pleas in other cases involving racially motivated assaults on black people.

The group confessed to multiple attacks including the beating of a black man near a golf course in Jackson. The assaults of a black male who allegedly attempted to sell suburbanites drugs, Using beer bottles to attack pedestrians and trying to run down another black man.

Prosecutors say the people targeted by the group were mainly homeless and drunks. Besides Anderson, no other victims were identified.

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