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Judge Orders Killers of Black Man to Pay $840K

A Mississippi judge has ordered four men to pay $840,000 to the estate of a Black man killed in a racially motivated homicide from 2011.

The Justice Department says Deryl Paul Dedmon, John Aaron Rice, Dylan Wade Butler and William Kirk Montgomery, who were each convicted and sentenced to prison, must pay restitution in connection with the killing of James Craig Anderson, the victim of a series of hate crimes committed by the men.

In 2012, Dedmon, Rice, Butler and Montgomery were convicted of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act. The group targeted Anderson in the parking lot of a motel in Jackson, Miss. Two of them brutally beat Anderson, while another hit him with his pickup truck.

The men had been attacking African Americans who they thought were homeless or intoxicated because they believed they would be less likely to report the violent acts.

“When these defendants committed this brutal hate crime they not only took a man’s life, they also hurt a family,” Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement.  “Although no amount of money will ever be able to account for the true value of James Craig Anderson’s life, we hope that this restitution will help ease the burden on his family.”

The restitution is intended to account for lost future wages Anderson would have used to support his family if he had lived, according to the statement.