On February 18, 2012, Denton James Ward and Lauren Bailey Crisp went out for fast food with another couple. But when they arrived, they encountered a large mob of youths. Marcus Jones told them “You’re in the wrong neck of the woods, cowboys,” and punched Denton’s friend. When Denton tried to defend him, the mob attacked the 18-year-old, kicking, punching, and jumping on his body. A witness said that after the attack, Denton’s face looked “really messed up” and “mushy.” His friends managed to get him back to their car and speed away, headed for an emergency room. In their panic, they ran a red light and suffered a major collision; Denton and 19-year-old Lauren, who had unbuckled and climbed into the back seat to try to help Denton, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Marcus claimed that the attack was in reaction to Denton’s friend using the word “nigger.” For his role in the deaths, Marcus was convicted of misdemeanor assault and served a 90-day sentence. No one else was charged.