Mississippi authorities have upgraded a murder charge to capital murder for a white teenager accused of intentionally running over a black man with a truck.

Capital murder in Mississippi carries the possibility of a death sentence. It is defined as a murder that takes place during the commission of another felony.

Jackson Police Detective Eric Smith told The Associated Press on Friday that the underlying felony in this case is robbery. Smith would not discuss what was allegedly stolen from James Craig Anderson on the morning he was killed.

Nineteen-year-old Deryl Dedmon is accused of running down Anderson on June 26 in an alleged hate crime. John Aaron Rice is charged with simple assault in the case.

Their attorneys have denied they were involved in a racially-motivated crime.