Teen charged in shooting death of J.P. Shelley

Published: Oct. 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2013 at 1:52 PM CDT
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(WMC-TV) - A 15-year-old is now facing murder charges in the shooting death of J.P. Shelley, a Memphis-area contractor, in Parkway Village.

The widow, Beverly Shelley, was shocked to hear a teenager is a suspect in her husband's murder.

"I just could not believe how young this person was," stated Shelley.

The Southwind Elementary School teacher said this hits too close to home.

"These children were supposed to be in Shelby County Schools where I work. That's really something that's bothering me a lot," continued Shelley.

Derek Cunningham was arrested Friday and charged with first degree murder and aggravated robbery.

According to Memphis police, J.P. Shelley was robbed and then shot by two armed men while working on a house on the 4700 block of Scottsdale on October 4,2013. He later died at The MED from his injuries.

Shelly wants to remind the community about what happened. She hopes the reminders will help police catch her husband's murderers.

"I'm just on adrenaline and I feel like I have to be my husband's PR person because he's not here speak for himself and to catch these killers," said Shelley.

The now single mom expressed how indebted she feels to the community. Residents have raised a $25,000 reward to find the suspects in her husband's death. She is thankful the area has embraced her and her children.

"I just hope they will continue to do so because this is going be a long haul for me having to attend trials in and who knows what's the future for me. I have to work," explained Shelley.

She is trusting the police to not stop until everyone involved is caught. A second suspect was arrested Sunday.

"It is a happy day because I know that justice will be served. The Memphis Police Department has just been fabulous," finished Shelley.

If you know anything that can help police find him, call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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