A decision has come for the murder of James Craig Anderson by two Mississippi women. A federal judge has sentenced 21-year-old Shelbie Brooke Richards to eight years and 22-year-old Sarah Adelia Graves to five in connection to the killing in 2011.
The attack is said to be racially motivated. U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate showed the family of the women the evidence which justifies their involvement in the murder of Anderson at a parking lot.
“I just wonder whether the hatred is just engrained for some particular reason,” said Wingate. “Then again, that’s what race hatred is all about: whites who hate blacks and blacks who hate whites. It’s just automatic.”
He had wished to send the two women behind bars for a longer time, but the sentences were the maximum jail term available under women’s plea agreements, Huffington Post noted.
“I feel this defendant, as well as the other one, could have been charged with a much more serious count than the one that they are pleading guilty to,” Wingate said.
A truck had run over James Craig Anderson, who was beaten up profusely. Both the suspects apologized to Anderson’s family on Thursday in court.
“If I had one chance to change everything, that would be to give Mr. Anderson’s life back,” Richards said. “The decision to go on this mortifying trip was the worst decision of my life.”
Six white men were already sentenced in the case.
Both Richards and Graves have admitted that they encouraged a group to kill Anderson at a birthday party. Richards also admitted that she “encouraged” Deryl Paul Dedmon to assault Anderson while yelling racial slurs. She also encouraged Dedmon to run over Anderson with the truck.