2 women received the maximum sentence for a hate crime committed in 2011. Sarah Graves, 22, and Shelbie Richards, 21, of Mississippi admitted to being in the truck the night that James Craig Anderson, a black man, was run down and beaten to death.
Graves was given five years in prison while Richards was given eight years on the charge of conspiracy to commit a hate crime. The group of white teenagers left a party with intent of assaulting African Americans and ran down Anderson in a Ford F-250 driven by Deryl Dedmon, another member of the group.
The family of Anderson was present and both Anderson’s sister and partner made statements. Both statements had the same idea; the girls were to blame as well as the six other people there that night and they knew what they were getting into.
Both women pleaded guilty with tears in their eyes and apologies to the family. Their statements were emotional, and hopeful of the family eventually forgiving them both.
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