Judge: 16-year-old murder suspect to be transferred back to Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The 16-year-old murder suspect who was held in solitary confinement at an adult prison in Nashville will soon be back in Memphis.

Judge W. Mark Ward issued an order to transfer Teriyona Arie Winton to a juvenile detention facility here in Memphis. Currently she is in a women's facility in Henning.

Winton was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Deago Brown in Binghampton last year, and was initially being held in the local Juvenile Detention Center. That all changed when prosecutors decided to charge her as an adult in the murder. She was 15-years-old at the time.

At the time, Shelby County officials told WREG they didn't have a place to hold young women who are being held as adults but under 18. She was transferred to Nashville, where she was held in solitary confinement at a women's prison for almost four months.

But a new law signed by Gov. Bill Haslam this week bans housing juvenile "safekeepers" in adult facilities.

Josh Spickler with Just City is representing Winton, and he and his team have been fighting for her transfer back to the Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center for months.

"What happened to this girl can't be undone. The trauma inflicted on her can't be undone," he said. "Shelby County's excuse was that they don't have space for a single 15-year-old girl."

Brown's mother told WREG she has been following this closely. She said she forgave Winton a while ago and will continue to keep her in her prayers.

Juvenile Court didn't comment, and the county's attorney never returned our phone calls as of Wednesday evening.

The sheriff's office sent a statement saying in part, "Recently, due to a reduced population, the Sheriff has been able to safely house transferred girls at the Juvenile Court facility, through a reuse of space and additional personnel. In the meantime, work continues to obtain a local facility to house all detained youth in Shelby County. It is the hope of the Sheriff’s Office that transferred girls can continue to be safely and legally housed here until the new facility is opened."