Asked why he thought the driver have done that, Fred Butts said: "That's the question that the whole family wants to know. Why did you do it? And we don't have no answers. And it don't seem like nobody (is) trying to give us no answers. We want to know: Why did he do it?"
Fred Butts said he does not believe that the sheriff or the district attorney want to know the truth.
"They don't want to push that issue," he said, adding that he thinks they also don't want to investigate a hate crime.
"I actually believe that," he said.
Another disturbing fact CNN has uncovered in this case: Just minutes before the teens ran over Johnny Butts, two of them -- Darby and the 15-year-old -- vandalized a church, tearing it apart. Yet few questions about the possible motive for this were asked of any of the teens in any of the statements seen by CNN. There is very little asked about the victim's race, nothing asked about why they vandalized the church, and few questions asked about the description of Johnny Lee Butts. Law enforcement officials apparently have not pursued this at all in their investigation. In fact, the interrogations by Panola County Sheriff's investigators barely touch the surface of looking for a motive in the case.
There are also no questions asked about why three white teenagers from another county were driving in a rural and mostly African-American area in Panola County. And, none of the records CNN has obtained show Hope Hopper, the mother who said the crime was racially motivated, was ever even interviewed by authorities.
And there is still something else -- a disturbing incident that occurred not long after Johnny Lee Butts was killed and just around the corner: Four young African-American boys say they were walking on the shoulder of Smart Road when two white men in a white Jeep aimed straight for them, scaring them into the ditch. The boys say the men were laughing when they drove off the road, racing toward the boys, forcing them to jump way back.
Adult neighbors told CNN they watched the whole thing from their porch. The families told CNN they called the Sheriff's Office, and an officer came out and interviewed the boys and some of the adults.
CNN asked the Sheriff's Office for a copy of the incident report on what happened to these boys. Surprisingly, after repeatedly declining to be interviewed about the Butts case, Sheriff Dennis Darby -- no apparent relation to Whit Darby -- called CNN back about the report the families gave to the sheriff's deputy.
Sheriff Darby told CNN on the phone they had looked into the incident with the boys on the road and found nothing. "There's nothing to this report," he said, "it's all hearsay," and "he-said she-said." Sheriff Darby told CNN he would not give a copy of the report to the network. Then the sheriff warned CNN not to "stir up trouble in my county." He warned if the network pursued the story, "I'll be coming after you."
Whit Darby is scheduled for trial next month. Hopper and the juvenile have not been charged.
Donny Butts and his family think law enforcement officials should push harder for the truth in why his father was killed.
"If they pressured these guys, the truth would come out, but they are saying it wasn't racist," he said.
Asked if he thought his father's death was a "modern lynching," Donny Butts said: "Yes I do. What else could it have been? What they are saying is not true. I believe my daddy was lynched because of the color of his skin."