Accused 15-Year-Old Killer Already Sex Offender
(Memphis) One of the teenagers accused of robbing and killing a Collierville contractor was already accused of a serious sex crime.
We’ve learned 15-year-old Derek Cunningham was already in the juvenile justice system as a sex offender.
The juvenile court says Cunningham’s criminal history will be considered by the judge when deciding whether to try him as an adult.
Sources say Cunningham served time for aggravated sexual battery after he failed to show up for regular outpatient sex offender therapy.
He’s now locked-up again for allegedly robbing and killing JP Shelley, a husband and father of two.
“They didn’t have to kill him. He gave them all the money that he had. They didn’t have to kill him,” said his wife, Beverly Shelley, earlier this week.
Shelley’s world was shattered when police say Cunningham and two of his young friends planned the robbery, to score an iPhone, an iPad and a few bucks.
“He was accused of several incidents so at what point do you say “Hey, this baby is headed down the wrong path. We need to stop this?’,” asked Stevie Moore, the director of Freedom from Unnecessary Negatives.
Moore, who heads-up a non-profit trying to stop youth violence, says it’s not police that failed to stop Cunningham, or Cunningham’s mother.
He believes it’s the entire community that looked the other way, “Neighbors knew. We don`t say nothing no more. We don`t get involved no more. Everybody lives in their own island and then when crime happens everybody is yelling ‘Oh my God! That is so bad!’ But you saw this problem happening. Somebody knew this problem was brewing but nobody stepped up because they said it’s not my business.”
Cunningham and the other teenagers’ next court appearance is scheduled for November 1 at 9:30 a.m.
That’s when a judge will decide whether they will be tried as adults.