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Three Rankin County Men Sentenced in 2011 Hate Crime
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Three Rankin County men will be heading to federal prison for their role in committing a hate crime that led to the 2011 death of an African American man in Jackson. A federal judge says the murder amounted to a modern day lynching.

Daryl Paul Dedmon, John Aaron Rice and Dylan Wade Butler wore red, Madison County Jail jumpsuits as they were ushered into the federal courthouse in Jackson, yesterday. Each faced two federal counts of conspiracy to commit a hate crime for their part in the assault and subsequent murder of James Craig Anderson in 2011. The three had previously been found guilty by the state for their roles in Anderson's death.

During the sentencing hearing, Federal Judge Carlton Reeves compared the slaying of Anderson to a modern day lynching, and that there was "no doubt this was the result of racial hatred." Reeves, who is an African American, likened the conspiracy to assault African Americans based solely on the color of their skin to "hunting." He then sentenced Dedmon, Rice and Butler to 50 years, 18-and-one-half years and seven years in federal prison respectively.

Family members of Anderson also addressed the three men. Anderson's partner James Bradfield, said the couple's young son now sleeps with him because he's afraid those people could hurt them. Anderson's sister, Barbara Anderson-Young, called the murder heinous and evil. After the hearing the family's attorney Winston Thompson told reporters that the family is pleased with the sentences.

"It's been a long journey," says Thompson. "You know, we had to go through the process. We worked with all of the law enforcement officials, state and federal, and they told us to be patient they were working on it. At times it seemed like nothing was going on. That we would never get to this point, but it came and the family is pleased."

Dedmon, Rice and Butler were not the only three charged with conspiracy to commit a hate crime in to the death of James Craig Anderson. Six others are currently awaiting sentencing