White man nears end of custody for Mississippi hate crime
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A white man has less than six months left in federal custody for his part in the fatal rundown of a black man in Mississippi in 2011.
Dylan Wade Butler pleaded guilty in 2012 to committing a hate crime and conspiring to commit a hate crime in the killing of James Craig Anderson, 49.
Prosecutors said Butler was in a group of young white people who drove from a majority-white suburb of Rankin County into the majority-black capital city of Jackson to harass and assault African-Americans between April and June 2011. Several pleaded guilty.
Prosecutors said another white teenager, Deryl Dedmon, was driving the truck that ran over Anderson in a hotel parking lot in Jackson before dawn on June 26, 2011.
The Associated Press and other news organizations obtained a hotel surveillance video that recorded the attack on Anderson. It showed a white Jeep Cherokee leaving a hotel parking lot at 5:05 a.m. Less than 20 seconds later, a Ford F-250 truck backed up and then lunged forward. Anderson’s shirt was illuminated in the headlights before he disappeared under the vehicle by the curb. Prosecutors said Dedmon was driving the truck and later bragged that he ran over Anderson, using a racial slur to describe him.
Anderson’s family asked prosecutors not to pursue the death penalty, saying they oppose capital punishment.
Butler was in the Jeep in the parking lot where Anderson was killed, prosecutors said. In 2015, Butler was sentenced to seven years in prison.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons website showed Tuesday that Butler was in a federal prison in Beaumont, Texas, The Clarion-Ledger reported. Since Wednesday, the site shows that Butler, now 26, is in a halfway house in Montgomery, Alabama, with a scheduled release date of April 27. His sentencing order said he will have three years of supervised release.
Dedmon, now 25, pleaded guilty in 2012 to committing a hate crime and conspiring to commit a hate crime, and was sentenced in 2015 to 50 years. He is in a federal prison in Marianna, Florida, with a scheduled release date of Oct. 13, 2055. Dedmon apologized to Anderson’s family as he pleaded guilty to state murder and hate crime charges in 2012, and was given two life sentences. Once he is released from federal prison, he will be transferred to state custody.
Prosecutors said John Aaron Rice was a passenger in the Jeep. Rice, now 24, pleaded guilty in 2012 to the same charges as Butler and Dedmon. Rice was sentenced to 18 ½ years. He is in a federal prison in Forrest City, Arkansas, with a scheduled release date of May 5, 2028.