Family of pastor shot and killed in Whitehaven split on how to prosecute juveniles charged in case

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 5:48 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The family of the well-known Memphis pastor who was killed in front of her home during a carjacking is speaking out against the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office’s decision to try the juveniles connected to the case as adults.

Rev. Dr. Autura Eason-Williams’ family previously expressed they did not want Miguel Andrade and Brayan Carillo, both 15 years old, to be tried as adults.

They held a news conference alongside the NAACP Wednesday to express their disdain for the decision.

“We the family...are deeply devastated by what has happened and do not want this to be a political show horse for anyone, for any political office,” said Eason-Williams’ cousin, Daryl Lewis. “But we want the community to understand that those who have suffered loss due to carjackings or gun violence or anything of that nature, we are grieving with you as well. But justice must be served.”

Eason-Williams’ oldest child, Ayanna Hampton, says her mother was a champion for system-involved children to decrease the community’s recidivism rate.

“I feel like its wrong to use her death to advocate for something that she would absolutely disagree with,” said Hampton. “My mother was a visionary leader; I do not want us to miss the opportunity to envision the improvements we can make to our juvenile justice system so that we are not convinced that we have to send children to adult prison for them to suffer the proper consequences that will fit their crime.”

However, Eason-Williams’ husband says he and his wife’s sisters disagree with his four step-children’s wishes to try 15-year-olds Miguel Andrade and Brayan Carillo as juveniles.

If convicted, both teens would be released when they turned 19.

“I want them all to spend the rest of their life in prison. I do not want another family to experience what me and my family had to go through,” said Darrell Eason-Williams, who was home at the time his wife was shot.

“I did not know, you hear shots often around here in Memphis, I did not know that was my wife,” he said.

Andrade and Carillo are charged with first-degree murder, murder in the perpetration of a robbery, especially aggravated robbery, carjacking and employing a firearm during a dangerous felony.

The third suspect charged in her murder, 20-year-old Eduard Rodriguez Tabora, who was arrested Tuesday, is charged with first-degree murder in perpetration of robbery, deployment of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony and especially aggravated robbery.

There is also a 16-year-old charged with theft of property.

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