Family Of Hit-and-Run Victim Praying For Accused

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- The family of a black hit-and-run victim in Mississippi says the family of the dead man is praying for the accused, a white 17-year-old male.

Johnny Lee Butts was killed July 22. Officials say the 61-year-old was struck by a vehicle and killed while he was taking an early-morning walk on a rural road near his home in north Mississippi's Panola County.

The teen has been charged with murder. District Attorney John Champion says a grand jury is investigating whether there was a racial motivation in the incident that left Butts dead at the scene. The NAACP has called for state and federal intervention.

The teen, and a second younger teen, are also accused of the burglary of a church. The church break-in occurred several miles from where Butts was killed.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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