Slain Memphis pastor laid to rest

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 3:37 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Many people in the Shelby County community said their final goodbyes to a beloved Memphis-area pastor Wednesday morning at St. Paul United Methodist Church.

On July 18, Reverend Dr. Autura Eason-Williams was shot and killed in her driveway while being carjacked.

The car was found hours later, abandoned.

Several of Eason-Williams’ clergy colleagues were in attendance for her funeral Wednesday morning, all asked to wear black robes and a white stole.

Jonathan Lewis, a colleague from Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, said throughout the time he knew Eason-Williams, she was always dependable.

“Whether it was a Methodist Healthcare thing or a Methodist church thing or a Methodist conference thing, or maybe just a life thing, I could call Autura,” Lewis said.

Other funeral attendees said Eason-Williams was a pillar in the Shelby County community.

“That was Autura,” said an anonymous guest. “A person willing to be authentically who she understood herself to be. Willing to speak out, willing to ask the hard questions, and willing to embrace all people.”

Three people remain in jail charged with Eason-Williams’ murder: two 15-year-olds and a 20-year-old.

Eason-Williams’ family members, Shelby County prosecutors, and other people in the community have debated whether the two teens should be tried as adults.

A judge has delayed the decision after Monday’s court date.

Eason-William’s husband, Darrell, hopes the teens will face adult penalties for his wife’s murder.

Her children, however, say they believe the teens should be tried as juveniles with support to ensure these crimes are not committed again.

The next court date is set for September 12.

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