Dedmon and two others plead not guilty to federal charges

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - This morning we have new developments in the hit and run murder of James Craig Anderson. Yesterday Deryl Dedmon pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to two life sentences in Hinds County Circuit Court. Today he was in federal court with two accomplices.

During a federal court hearing, Dedmon, John Rice and Dylan Butler all pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and federal hate crime charges.

Later this afternoon, they will go back to court for a plea hearing in the case that led to the brutal death of James Craig Anderson last year at a Jackson hotel. It's expected that they will then plead guilty.

Dedmon was the driver of the truck that struck and killed Anderson. Rice and Butler were with him that night. Hinds County prosecutors say that Anderson was assaulted before the hit-and-run by all three.

All three face a maximum of five years for the conspiracy charge, and up to life for the hate crime charge. They're expected to plead guilty at the hearing scheduled for 1:30 this afternoon, according to Anderson family attorney Winston Thompson.

"The government read a bill of information suggesting criminal charges against all of them, and all three entered pleas of not guilty," Thompson told reporters after the hearing Thursday morning. "There's a hearing scheduled today at 1:30, a plea hearing, where I believe they are scheduled to plead guilty to those charges."

Federal prosecutors and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will also hold a press conference after that.

We will have more on our afternoon newscasts.

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