JACKSON, Mississippi -- A white Mississippi teenager has pleaded guilty to murder and hate-crime charges for running over and killing a black man with his pickup truck but will not face the death penalty.
Deryl Dedmon, 19, had been charged with capital murder in the June 2011 death of 49-year-old James Craig Anderson in Jackson.
On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to murder and committing a hate crime. Prosecutors recommended two life sentences.
Dedmon apologized to Anderson's family. "I do not ask y'all to forget, but I do ask y'all to forgive," he said in a state courtroom in Jackson.
As members of his family and the victim's family wiped away tears, he said God has taught him not to see color and he is a changed man.
Authorities say seven white teens were partying in the early morning hours on June 26, 2011, when Dedmon suggested they find a black man to harass. Police say Anderson was beaten before Dedmon ran him down before dawn.
Another teenager, John Aaron Rice, is charged with simple assault in the case. Authorities said he left the scene before Anderson was killed.
The FBI also investigated the case.
The case received widespread attention after a video of Anderson's death was obtained by news organizations, including The Associated Press.
The video, taken by a hotel surveillance camera, shows a white Jeep Cherokee in which Rice was allegedly a passenger leaving a hotel parking lot at 5:05 a.m. Less than 20 seconds later, a Ford truck backs up and then lunges forward. Anderson's shirt is illuminated in the headlights before he disappears under the vehicle next to the curb. Police say Dedmon was driving the truck and later bragged that he ran over Anderson, using a racial slur to describe him.
Dedmon was indicted for capital murder, which in Mississippi is defined as murder committed along with another felony. It carries the sentences of death or life in prison without parole. The underlying offense in this case is robbery. Dedmon also was charged under Mississippi's hate crime law, which provides for tougher sentences.
Anderson's family had asked prosecutors not to pursue the death penalty, saying they oppose capital punishment. Anderson's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against all seven teens, including two young girls who were allegedly in the truck with Dedmon.
Rice has been free on a $5,000 bond. Dedmon has been held without bail.