james-craig-anderson

James Craig Anderson

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Two women have pleaded guilty in connection with a series of attacks on African-Americans in Mississippi that included running over and killing a man.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (http://on.thec-l.com/1xegWpe) that Shelbie Brooke Richards and Sarah Adelia Graves each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the federal hate crime law. Richards also pleaded guilty to concealing from investigators information about James Craig Anderson’s killing. Both women are 21.

Anderson’s death outside a Jackson hotel in 2011 sparked a broader investigation into reports that young white men and women were driving from mostly white Rankin County into majority-black Jackson to assault African-Americans.

In this June 26, 2011 frame grab from a security video, people gather in a parking lot next to the Jackson, Miss., street where James Craig Anderson, a 49-year-old black man was allegedly run down by a pickup truck driven by Deryl Dedmon, a white teen. At least one of the four people indicted in a series of racial beatings of blacks is in talks with prosecutors about pleading guilty. Tom Fortner, the lawyer for Sarah Adeila Graves, said Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 that plea talks are at a “critical” stage and could be resolved within the next several weeks. Six men pleaded guilty earlier in the investigation, sparked after James Craig Anderson was run over by a truck and died in June 2011. (AP Photo)

Six others also have pleaded guilty.

Richards’ statement said she encouraged one of those defendants to hit Anderson with his truck, then lied to investigators about it.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com