Jeffery Daniels Hate Crime suspect criminal trouble before - - Jackson, MS

Smith County man has a history of assaults

Jeffery Daniels. Source: Rankin County Jeffery Daniels. Source: Rankin County
Jeff Daniels. Source: Smith County Jeff Daniels. Source: Smith County
SMITH COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Smith County man accused of beating and shooting his family member has a history of reports of violence, including one involving his son. Jeffery Daniel is accused in a brutal attack of Craig Wilson Friday. 

We have learned this is not the attacker's first run-in with the law. According to the Rankin county sheriff, Jeffrey Daniels was arrested January 17, 2014. The Smith County man was charged with 2 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

He was convicted of 1 count when he pled guilty in March. The crime was a misdemeanor. According to Sheriff Bryan Bailey, Daniels' son had a dispute with other teens. The father encouraged his son to fight and parents filed charges against Daniels.

The Smith County sheriff also confirms Daniels has been arrested for assault 2 or three times before. The latest incident Friday night. He is accused of brutally beating and shooting Craig Wilson with his own gun. Wilson's daughter is white. The father of her three children is black.

Wilson remains in serious condition according to his daughter, Laura Runnels.

"They've been going down there for over a year or something. I don't understand all of a sudden they have something to say about it. And then they want to take it out on my children and my father. I don't understand, said Runnels. "I haven't actually been able to speak to him. He hasn't been to yet."

Just two weeks ago a burning cross was found on the Wilson's property. The family says this is a hate crime. However the executive director of the Mississippi American Civil Liberties Union disagrees.

"So under Mississippi law I do not think it would qualify for enhancement as a hate crime," said Jennifer Riley-Collins. "However under federal law it is the offenders bias that kicks in based on race. So under federal law, I do think, if I understand the facts correctly, that this would qualify as a hate crime."

The Smith county sheriff said again Tuesday, it is not a hate crime under state law. The sheriff told us, if it were, Daniels would have been charged with that crime.

Daniels made his $20-thousand dollars bond Monday afternoon and is out of jail on aggravated assault charges.

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