Shelbie Richards and Sarah Graves of Brandon, Mississippi have plead guilty to federal hate crime charges in connection with a series of racially-motivated assaults on African Americans that ended in the death of James Anderson in 2011.
Shelbie Brooke Richards and Sarah Adelia Graves, both 21, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Jackson to one count of conspiracy to violate the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act for their roles in a scheme to target African Americans in Jackson for violent assaults with dangerous weapons, including their roles in the murder of Anderson, who was run over by a Ford F250 truck driven by members of the conspiracy.
“Hate based crimes have no place in America,” said U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis for the Southern District of Mississippi. “In addition to the injury to the victim, these crimes damage the fabric of our society. The citizens of this district should know that this office will continue to vigorously enforce federal laws that guarantee the civil rights of all citizens.”