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Civil Suit Accuses 7 White Teens in Anderson Murder

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 06 Sep 2011 04:41pm | comments
Deryl Dedmon in court.

Seven white teenagers are facing civil charges in connection with the beating and murder of a black Jackson man. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports.

On the steps of the Hinds County Courthouse Tuesday morning, Winston Thompson, the attorney for the family of James Anderson announced the filing of a Civil Suit against 7 white teens who he believes were involved in the attack and murder of Anderson.

"What we called a joint venture to seek out and do harm to a person of color. In this particular instance it was James Craig Anderson, a black individual, whom they did murder," Thompson said.

The civil suit includes allegations of Battery, negligence and wrongful death against all the teens that police believe were involved in the June attack.

One teen, 19-year old Deryl Dedmon has been charged with capitol murder for allegedly running Anderson down with his truck.

A second teen is facing assault charges, but the other teens have not been criminally charged.

Tuesday afternoon inside a Hinds County courthouse, family of James Anderson sat just two rows in front of supporters for Deryl Dedmon who was awaiting a preliminary hearing.

The judge quickly announced that the hearing is being delayed until later in the month.

Hinds County district Attorney Robert Shuler Smith says the defense requested the delay.

"I don't want to rush any investigation. That is the general rule for all of our cases. Especially a murder case. We have multiple suspects and we will give the time that it deserves," Smith said.

Dedmon was twice walked across the court wearing chains, his hair now cut into a tight buzz cut, but he never looked up from the floor.

After the hearing, Dedmon's attorney Cynthia Stewart declined to explain why they wanted a delay but Stewart handed out a written statement reminding members of the media that her client is innocent until proven guilty.

The preliminary hearing is now scheduled for September 26th

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Deryl Dedmon in court.


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