United States Department of Justice
Mississippi Man Sentenced for His Role in a Conspiracy to Commit Racially Motivated Assaults, Culminating in the Killing of an African-American Man Run Over by Truck
The Justice Department announced today that John Louis Blalack, 21, of Brandon, Mississippi, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Mississippi in Jackson for his role in a federal hate crime conspiracy involving racially motivated assaults, culminating in the death of James Craig Anderson, an African-American man, in the summer of 2011. Blalack had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of commission of a hate crime for his role in the conspiracy and the cover-up. Blalack was sentenced to 240 months in prison.
Eight other defendants in related cases, Deryl Paul Dedmon, 22, John Aaron Rice, 22, Dylan Wade Butler, 23, Jonathan Kyle Gaskamp, 22, and Joseph Paul Dominick, 23, all of Brandon, Mississippi; William Kyle Montgomery, 25, of Puckett, Mississippi, Sarah Adelia Graves, 22, of Crystal Springs, Mississippi; and Shelbie Brooke Richards, 21, Pearl, Mississippi, were previously sentenced to 600 months, 220 months, 78 months, 48 months, 48 months, 224 months, 60 months and 96 months, respectively, for their roles in the conspiracy. Robert Henry Rice is awaiting sentencing.
“The Justice Department will always fight to hold accountable those who commit racially motivated assaults,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division. “We hope that the prosecution of those responsible for this horrific crime will help provide some measure of closure to the victim’s family and to the larger community affected by this heinous crime.”
“This prosecution sends a clear message that this office, in partnership with the DOJ Civil Rights Division, will prioritize and aggressively prosecute hate crimes and other civil rights violations in the Southern District of Mississippi,” said U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis of the Southern District of Mississippi.
“The FBI takes very seriously its responsibility to uphold the civil rights of all citizens,” said Special Agent in Charge Donald Alway of the FBI’s Jackson, Mississippi, Division. “Together with its law enforcement partners, the FBI will continue its efforts to aggressively pursue and bring to justice all those individuals who conspire to deprive others of their civil rights merely because of the color of their skin.”
Read More Mississippi Man Sentenced for His Role in a Conspiracy to Commit Racially Motivated Assaults, Culminating in the Killing of an African-American Man Run Over by Truck | OPA | Department of Justice.