jackson | Not in Our Town


Two men pled guilty on Tuesday to federal hate crime charges stemming from a series of attacks on African-Americans in Jackson, MS last year, including the murder of James Craig Anderson, according to CNN. William Kirk Montgomery, 23, and Jonathan Gaskamp, 20, were part of the group of young men responsible for Anderson’s violent death in June 2011. Montgomery was there the night that Darryl Dedmon, Jr. ran over Anderson with his truck after the group savagely beat the 49-year-old auto plant worker. Though uninvolved in Anderson’s murder, Gaskamp had participated in other, similar attacks around Jackson with the group. Both Montgomery and Gaskamp pled guilty to federal hate crimes charges this week. In total, five men from the group have been charged with crimes related to the attacks. Dedmon, John Aaron Rice and Dylan Butler all pled guilty to federal hate crime charges earlier this year. Dedmon was sentenced to life in prison and Rice and Butler face life sentences. More Arrests Possible Prosecutors on the case told CNN that even more arrests could be made as the investigation into the group’s repeated attacks around Jackson continues.
The apparent racially-motivated killing of a black man in Jackson, Mississippi on June 26 has gained national attention after CNN recently released surveillance video of white teens beating and then running over the man with their pick-up truck.  While the footage is shocking, it didn’t surprise all who watched it. Pastor Brian Richardson of Castlewoods Baptist Church in Brandon, Mississippi said that beginning in 2008 his son was bullied by Deryl Dedmon, the same teenager reported to have run over and killed James Craig Anderson, a 49-year old auto worker. Richardson said that after his son was tormented, he alerted the school district and police to his concern that Dedmon could end up taking a life.