2 women sentenced in the hate killing of Mississippi black man - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

2 women sentenced in the hate killing of Mississippi black man

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — In a hearing that lasted more than five hours Thursday, a federal judge sentenced two women to the maximum prison terms for their roles in the 2011 death of James Craig Anderson, the last of a series of white-on-black attacks.

U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate went out of his way to show relatives and supporters of the two women that their presence in the truck that ran over Anderson in a Jackson parking lot was not an isolated accident but the result of a pattern of racist behavior.

“I just wonder whether the hatred is just engrained for some particular reason,” said Wingate, who in 1984 became the first African-American federal judge in Mississippi. “Then again, that's what race hatred is all about: whites who hate blacks and blacks who hate whites. It's just automatic.”

Wingate sentenced 21-year-old Shelbie Brooke Richards of Pearl to eight years in prison after her guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit a hate crime and one count of concealing the crime by lying to Jackson police. He sentenced 22-year-old Sarah Adelia Graves of Crystal Springs to five years in prison after her guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit a hate crime.

Those were the maximum sentences available under the women's plea agreements. But Wingate said he wished he could send the women away for longer prison terms.

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