JACKSON, Miss. (AP, abc24.com) - Three white men involved in the beating and fatal rundown of a black man in Mississippi have pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes a day after one of them pleaded guilty in state court to a murder charge.
Dylan Butler, Deryl Dedmon and John Aaron Rice entered the pleas Thursday in federal court to conspiracy to commit a hate crime and to committing a hate crime.
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves set sentencing for June 8 and ordered all three to be held in custody.
Prosecutors read the allegations against the three, saying that on numerous occasions one or all three harassed or assaulted black people who they thought were homeless or intoxicated.
The harassment began in April 2011, culminating in the death of James Craig Anderson on June 26. Dedmon pleaded guilty to a state charge of murder on Wednesday for running Anderson over with his pickup.