(Reuters) - A Mississippi man charged with shooting and beating his mother’s boyfriend has been accused of carrying out the attack in anger over the victim’s mixed-race grandchildren, police said on Monday.
Jeffery Daniels, of rural Smith County in central Mississippi, has been charged with aggravated assault in connection with a Friday evening incident that left Craig Wilson badly beaten and with a gunshot wound to the stomach, police said.
Daniels’ mother told police that he carried out the attack in anger over a visit from Wilson’s young grandchildren, who are mixed-race, said Smith County Sheriff Charlie Crumpton.
Because the victim and suspect are both white, the attack cannot be classified as a hate crime under Mississippi state law, Crumpton said.
Daniels has not told police his version of what led to the incident, Crumpton said.
“All he’s talking about is the fight itself,” Crumpton said.
Roughly two weeks before the incident, a cross was burned in front of Wilson’s house, Crumpton said. Police do not know who burned the cross, the sheriff added.
Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Eric Walsh