Some family of slain Memphis pastor don’t want suspects charged as adults
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Some family members 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.
They held a news conference alongside the NAACP Tuesday 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 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.”
Hampton says she feels, in this case, justice would be served if the teen suspects remained in the juvenile system with supportive services provided to them.
“If you can’t try them the way you are supposed to in juvenile court that means you need to fix your court. That means that you need to improve your system,” she said. “So justice for me is not just about these kids, it’s about every single child.”
However, not all family members agree that they should not be tried as adults.
The district attorney released the following statement on the matter:
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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