MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County District Attorney’s office announced in a press release Thursday they will seek to try the 15-year-old charged in the death of a Memphis pastor as an adult.
The teen, who WREG is choosing not to identify, has been charged with first-degree murder, murder in perpetration of a robbery, carjacking, especially aggravated robbery, and employment of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony.
The DA said they have a notice of intent to seek a transfer to set the case on the Juvenile Court docket. They said they are looking to try him as an adult due to his criminal history. WREG learned the teen was on probation prior to committing the crime.
The DA’s Office said, by law, juveniles between the ages of 14 and 17 who are charged with serious crimes can be tried as adults.
“Due to the facts of this case and this offender’s criminal history, I am seeking transfer of this case to adult court,” District Attorney Weirich said.
In a post on social media, Eason-Williams’ daughter Ayanna Hampton addressed the suspect being tried as an adult.
“My mommy was a tireless advocate and strategist for restorative justice practices. Please do not use her death as an opportunity to go all “tough on crime,” “throw them under the jail,” “charge them as adults so they won’t get a chance to do this again” on us,” Hampton said in the post.
Hampton went on to say her mother would not consider that to be justice.
District Attorney Amy Weirich, who is up for reelection, says they only recommend serious offenders be tried as adults. It’s a strategy her opponent, Steve Mulroy, thinks should be evaluated.
In a statement, Mulroy said in part, “When the crime is serious and the past criminal record long, there have to be tough consequences. But we should also care what the victim’s family wants. It seems like we should consider that too.”
A Juvenile Court report date is set for August 1. The transfer hearing is not expected until late August or September.