Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dedmon: GUILTY!!! (Video. Warning: Graphic language).

Included in this post:
-Video of entire hearing, unedited.
-Video of District Attorney press conference, unedited
-copy of plea agreement and text of Judge Weill's remarks
-Report of the hearing

Deryl Dedmon pleaded guilty to killing James Anderson in Hinds County Circuit Court today. Judge Jeff Weill sentenced him to two life sentences to be served concurrently for the brutal murder of the victim. The case captured national attention as video cameras captured Dedmon intentionally running over Mr. Anderson with his truck. Dark was the weather and dark was the evil done to the Anderson family but justice shined yesterday as it meted out its sentence on the young killer.

Prosecutor Scott Rogillo presented the horrifying, details of that gruesome night as Dedmon stood next to him clad in prison garb surrounded by his attorneys. Mr. Rogillo said the defendant attended a bonfire in Puckett, Mississippi in April 2011. Mr. Rogillo stated:

"They drank alcohol and "discussed" going to Jackson to "harass African-Americans whom they referred to as niggers. Others were recruited by the defendant to go to Jafrica.. words to the effect of 'Lets go fuck with some niggers' were used. This was not unusual as the defendant admitted to going to Jackson with others in previous weeks for the purpose of harassing African-Americans. The harassment at first took the form of verbal assaults, then later escalated into physical encounters. They targeted African-American individuals who were sometimes homeless and/or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The purpose was only to attack those who would not likely resist and/or report it to the authorities. As the party in Puckett broke up, the defendant agreed to meet with others at the Texaco station on Highway 80 in Brandon Mississippi. Before traveling to Jackson, four of the individuals drove to Jackson.. in a white four-door Jeep.

It was decided that the defendant and two others would go to Jackson in his Ford F-250. The four individuals left ahead of the defendant while he waited for the other two to arrive at the Texaco. The two vehicles maintained cellphone contact. At approximately 4:45 AM, the four individuals in the Jeep stopped at a Wendy's restaurant on Ellis at Highway 80 in Jackson when they saw Mr. James Craig Anderson, a 47 year-old African-American who appeared to be intoxicated, alone, and in an adjacent hotel parking lot. Excited he would be their target and phoned the defendant who was on his way from Brandon with the other two occupants. The driver of the white Jeep drove his car to the hotel parking lot.. Two of the occupants got out of the car, the White Jeep, to stall Mr. Anderson under the pretense of assisting him until the defendant arrived.

Upon his arrival the defendant got out of the truck, approached Mr. Anderson, who was engaged in a conversation with the ones who got out of the white Jeep. The physical assault began when one of the passengers of the white Jeep hit Mr. Anderson with his fists, knocking him to the ground. The defendant then straddled the victim and punched him several times in the face and the head. This lasted for several seconds. When the assault was over, the two individuals from the white Jeep rejoined the other two occupants and drove off. At least one of the individuals in the white Jeep yelled "White Power" as they left. The defendant on his way back to the truck raised his fist and said "White Power". The defendant then rejoined the other two occupants in the truck and proceeded to leave the hotel parking lot and join the other vehicle, which had already left.

The defendant then saw Mr. Anderson in his headlights, just past the exit of the parking lot on the side of the road. The defendant deliberately used his vehicle to run over the victim. Someone inside the defendant's car yelled a racial slur. The autopsy later revealed that the victim died as a result of the serious injuries he sustained. Almost immediately after the impact, the occupants of the Ford truck phones the occupants of the other vehicle and stated words to the effect that the defendant just ran that nigger over. At least one witness called 911 and gave a description of the vehicles and members of the Jackson Police Department arrested the defendant on his way back to Brandon on Interstate 20."

Deryl Dedmon, small in height that he is, became smaller as the prosecutor laid out in stark detail the events of that night. He stood expressionless, looking straight ahead, as his crime was told to the court. Judge Weill asked him if "those facts were essentially true". Dedmon replied they were. Judge Weill sentenced him to life in prison and added a second life sentence to be served concurrently*. Mississippi law allows a judge to double a sentence if the act is found to be a hate crime.

Judge Weill allowed Barbara Anderson Young, the sister of the deceased James Anderson, to speak to the court (15:50 in the video). She said "Craig was a big-hearted person. One who loved his fellow man. Caring, family-oriented, and a big sense of humor." She looked Dedmon in the eye and said "My brother Craig would give you the shirt off of his back." She then said "We, the Anderson family, are praying for racial reconciliation not only in Mississippi, but all over this land and country." Her voice broke as she said "We are praying the defendant Dedmon and his family, that they find peace." Members of the Dedmon family sobbed as she spoke.

Judge Weill had a few words of his own to say to Mr. Dedmon (The text of his speech is posted in the documents below.). The former Republican member of the Jackson City Council addressed the defendant in a courthouse that still echoes faintly with a Ross Barnett joking with Beckwith over the assassination of Medgar Evers:

"Mr. Dedmon, having heard your admissions the very walls of this courthouse cry out for justice. You have admitted killing a man simply because of his race. Your prejudice has brought shame upon you and placed a great stain on the State of Mississippi. Whatever excuse you may offer for what you have done- forget that. There is no excuse you can offer to the family of Mr. Anderson or to your fellow Mississippians who have to try to reconcile the horrible damage you have casued. All the hard work we have done to mover our state forward from that earthen dam in Neshoba County to here has been stained by you. A stain which will take years to fade."

Judge Weill then spoke to the Anderson family:

"May God bless and console you on the loss of your early fallen loved one. The name of this case is literally State of Mississippi versus Deryl Dedmon. Know that Mississippians think about this senseless crime the way you think about it. With all her troubled past, the state of Mississippi stands with you today and condemns this despicable crime and says there is no excuse for this."

Deryl Dedmon then read a prepared statement to the courtroom (18:15 in video). His voice was even, showing no emotion. He said "I would like to apologize to the Harrison family for the horrible thing I have done" and that "I take full responsibility for my actions on that night." The defendant said he prayed for them to soften their hearts and to not forget but to "forgive me".

The courtroom was silent, Barbara Young shaking her head, the Dedmon family crying, others doing their duty but not wanting to be there. Outside, the clouds gathered to unleash a downpour but inside the courthouse, Mississippi stood up and did the right thing. District Attorney Robert Schuler Smith announced after the hearing there would be a press conference today at the federal building about possible federal charges against Dedmon and other individuals. He said it was the "beginning of many things to come in this investigation."

*Section 99-19-307 allows a Judge to enhance the penalty if the crime was committed for a "discriminatory purpose". The code states:

"In the event it is found beyond a reasonable doubt that the offense was committed by reason of the actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, national origin or gender of the victim, then the penalty for the offense may be enhanced by punishment for a term of imprisonment of up to twice that authorized by law for the offense committed, or a fine of up to twice that authorized by law for the offense committed, or both."


KaptKangaroo said...

All I heard was... and I'm sure we are all gonna' hear it from you know who...





Judge was succinct and correct in his admonishment given the plea.

Heard "Life in Prison times 2" and felt a bit sad for his Dad and Mom; the look of disappointment was overwhelming as a parent.

Cannot imagine losing any of my siblings. I pray for all the families involved.

There was one comment, but I'm not touching it. The grammar and English schooling in me was shocked at the statement. Absolutely shocked given the gravity of this situation. We will see who watched what was said.

Anonymous said...

Makes you wonder why he pleaded guilty and then received two life sentences. Why not go to trial?

Anonymous said...

My guess is pretty simple @9:46... probably trying to avoid the needle.

Anonymous said...

@9:52... Doesnt seem to hard to imagine a defense based on youth, drinking,mobish behavior, create uncertainty of intent to commit murder.... coupled with the christian love from the victim's family. But , you may be right, death penalty might have been the result.

Anonymous said...

"youth , drinking, mobish behavior" is not even an explanation for this crime, much less an excuse and certainly not a defense.

If the man murdered had been white, he still would be at risk of the death penalty.

This young man is a serious threat to society.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, 11:08...
If the man he killed had been white, the judge would have rejected the guilty plea and forced him to plead "not guilty"...Is that what you are trying to say?
That's stupid.

Anonymous said...

The full unedited hearing video provided here @ JJ reveals that the JFP and their blood thirsty begats are big time upset with this plea. The liberties the Knave took with Rogillio's official description of events provides a hint. 'Chilling' sweetheart? Hardly.

Anonymous said...

11:58 pm

YOU were suggesting Dedmon could have made the youth/mobbish/drunk "defense " argument. You don't put on a defense when you plead guilty.

Since Dedmon could have, pleading guilty, included your bizarre excuses in his remarks BEFORE sentencing and didn't, YOUR reaction to my post was even more inexplicable.

I didn't say ANYTHING about a judge rejecting a guilty plea and neither did you.

I also didn't say anything about the death penalty.

I am really stunned by your reading into my post things that weren't there and lack of comprehension of what you yourself wrote.

Anonymous said...

calm down,,, my comments have nothing to do with judging Dedmon or reading anything into your post. someone commented that he plead guilty because the death penalty was a likely jury result... I finally agreed but havent you seen defense strategies fuzzy the lines and sew seeds of doubt into their minds?

I dont think Dedmon started out the night to kill someone and I wouldnt be totally surprised to hear that he didnt want to kill the poor man when he ran over him.
The result is of course, murder and a very horrible one. but can I not express thoughts without offending your ability to comprehend wwhat I actually wrote vs someone else????

Shadowfax said...

What's the difference in 'life in prison times two' and 'life without possibility of parole'? And why sentence a man, sorry, boy, to two life terms for ONE murder?

Anonymous said...

4:41 am

I just watched the full video AGAIN to confirm there is NOTHING in it that " reveals JFP" et al are " big time upset with this plea".

You reveal yourself to be a heathen since clearly The Ten Commandments have no significance to you. I realize that may be too subtle for you so I'll spell it out. You have given " false witness".

And, you are also a troublemaker. You create strife where none exists. Perhaps, JFP will be upset ( though I can't imagine WHY given the maximum sentence) but this video indicates nothing of the sort.

When , oh , when will Mississippi ever be free of those who , with their words and deeds , embarrass us? Whether its Dedmon and his Neo Nazi/Aryan friends or the USM band members or YOU with your lies, 4:41 am , the reputation you give us is awful and the strife you cause , even worse.

Anonymous said...

*** YAWN ***

Anonymous said...

Oh joy, the preachy idiot is back.

Shadowfax said...

Since you bring up the USM band (8:39), the decision to jerk their scholarships was way too harsh for a school-boys thoughtless yet compulsive chant. I can only conclude that Martha Saunders made that decision in order to appease and please her counterparts across the more liberal sections of America. This moment of harmless stupidity (on the part of a few kids) has now resulted in a sanction that will perhaps destroy a major part of the rest of their lives. Stupid decision. Stupid of you to include them in your sanctimonious admonition.

Anonymous said...

Your coverage Kingfish is superior to any of the other media in Jackson. Thanks.

Sandy Loam

Kingfish said...

Didn't see anything wrong with their coverage. It was not as long as I thought it would be but their reporter left by three. As quickly as it was posted, probably typed something up real quick. I suspect the print edition will have a longer article.

Michael said...

They wanted to eff with some...
Now some are gonna eff them.


Anonymous said...

Redmon gone for life....

Good riddance ! ! !

Anonymous said...

Shadow, I agree the band students didn't THINK about consequences. \

Dedmon didn't THINK about consequences either.

We need more tough examples made until these numbskulls stop counting on being excused or on there are enough racists out there who will " understand" why they did what they did.

8:59 am I could have just called 4:41 am a liar but chose to be more polite and admonish him instead. Sorry you find " preaching" more offensive that name calling. I thought it more of a lecture to a child, but thanks.

Anonymous said...

Did Kingfish make you the blog cop March 22, 2012 2:15 PM?

Shadowfax said...

Four young band students giggling and chanting a silly remark about green cards and three white punks who have repetitively driven into black areas to beat up and otherwise harrass blacks, one trip resulting in death. No damned comparison. Only a fool would put them in the same category or categorize them both as representative of Mississippi Burning. Has Al Sharpton finally found this blog?

Anonymous said... deliberately miss the point.

This is as if I said " fruit" and you replied " apples aren't oranges". Well DUH!

The grouping can be filed under " embarrassing public behavior by Mississippians that reinforce the stereotype of us as ignorant rednecks and bigots".

You can add two former Governors and their sexual exploits as well if it will help you " get it".

Perhaps you enjoy having every jackass in the State define us. I don't. And, it's way past time they were held accountable and held up to our children as bad examples.

Instead we get " others are worse" or " young" or " drunk" or "silly" and suggesting that anyone who says their behavior is disgusting is " Al Sharpton".

Shadowfax said...

@ 2:15; I didn't miss the point at all. I merely suggested that the point you tried to make was bogus and grand, assinine hyperbole. You need to learn to make valid points if you want them considered.

Anonymous said...

Such a shame for all involved, especially the Anderson family, (a man trying to go to work, getting caught up in this madness). Where were the families of these kids? Such a damn shame.

Anonymous said...

There are alot of feral young people out there these days.

I saw the other boys plead guilty, but what about the girls?

They may not have hit anyone literally with a beer bottle or their fists, but they sure as hell didn't tell anyone either.

Shadowfax said...

@8:21; not that it matters one whit, but where did you get the idea that he was 'headed to work'?

@2:15; I didn't miss the point at all. I simply suggested you attempted to MAKE a point with a flawed comparative analysis which was absurd. What embarrasses Mississippi nationally is FBI crime stats, jackpot justice, corrupt city officials, voter fraud, obesity and unwed mothers, not freshman band members acting out.

Anonymous said...

Any of you rednecks see where three of young Dedmon's pals plead in front of Carlton Reeves yesterday? Apparently more to come, as well. Good ole Rankin--respite from the lost city of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Shadow fox...I believe Anderson worked at Nissan and had locked his keys in his truck and was headed to work, but you are right, it makes not a wit.

Shadowfax said...

@10:38. How does it feel to be the blog boob? You've not seen or read a soul on here advocating what these punks did or suggesting the judge go light on any of them. To the contrary, to a person, we all (I believe) support the harshest available penalty for Dedmon and whatever the others have coming for their role(s).

While they cannot be tried for what people say they have done in the past, if they were involved in this incident, 'hang em high' as it were. What have you seen on here that justifies your 'redneck' remark.

Nor is it fair of you to lay any part of the blame on the County of Rankin. Nobody in his/her right mind advocates, supports, condones or minimizes this sort of criminal behavior. But, what can be expected from the Blog Boob?

Anonymous said...

The one thing " conservatives" SHOULD object to and I am 2:15 am, is the added " hate" crime sentence.

Of the weaknesses in liberal thinking, this is one of the biggest.

Essentially, Dedmon et. al are being imprisoned for their thoughts and/or beliefs and not just for murder and assault ( they have confessed to the prior incidents of assault , by the way).

In a jury trial, evidence of past behaviors and beliefs can be used to explain motivation to a jury when it is relevant to the crime being prosecuted but we shouldn't imprison someone for what they think or belief.

Some motivations to murder and assault are more despicable and nauseating than others, but we should be prosecuting ONLY the BEHAVIOR.

I'd not object to a campaign to encourage socially ostracizing and isolating those who are hateful and despicable and forment discord. They should not enjoy any form of social or POLIIICAL acceptance. Should such people exercise free speech, the entire community should be encouraged to turn out to boo them or en masse, turn their backs to them.

But, we shouldn't be imprisoning anyone for their thoughts and beliefs...however ethically or practically convenient that may be.

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