Wife of Murdered Contractor Wants Violence to Stop

(Memphis) Bond was denied for two Memphis teenagers accused of robbing and killing a husband and father of two.

The two were in juvenile court Monday to hear charges of robbery and first degree murder.

The 15 and 16-year-old were arrested over the weekend for killing Memphis Contractor J.P. Shelley, as he worked on a home in Parkway Village.

His wife Beverly Shelley says she doesn’t blame the mothers of the teens charged, but there is a major problem in Memphis

“I just want this violence to stop,” said Shelley.  “I’m just sick about it and I just want it to stop.”

It’s only been 10 days since Shelley’s husband of 18 years was murdered, yet she’s already thinking about others, “If I have to be the face of that, that’s fine.”

She wants to see change in Memphis, especially after seeing her accused killer’s Facebook page.

On the page, 15-Year-Old Derek Cunningham is flashing cash, gang signs, and carefree ramblings in the days after he allegedly shot and killed her husband J.P.

“I have to stop looking at it because it’s so hateful.  I just can’t let that hatefulness be part of my life. I just can’t,” said Beverly Shelley.

Instead of living in hate, she wants to transform her loss into an urgent message to the city, “I just want the community to come together to give the children the resources that they need so they can get out of these hateful environments so this doesn’t have to happen to anybody else.”

Shelley works as a librarian for Shelby County Schools, and in the most unlikely and unsettling way, she’s connected to the teenagers who police say murdered her husband, “I have friends who teach where they went to school, friends who apparently taught them elementary school. It’s just dumbfounding.”

Police say Cunningham confessed to the robbery and splitting the cash with Corey Sandifer in the getaway car afterwards.

We won’t know if they’ll be tried as adults until their next hearing. The date of that hasn’t been set yet.

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