Teen pleads guilty in contractor’s murder

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Friday morning a 17-year-old pleaded guilty to the murder of contractor John “J.P.” Shelley two years ago. According to the District Attorney’s Officer, Derek Cunningham, Jr. was sentenced to 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Back in October of 2013, Cunningham and another man, Corey Sandifer, robbed Shelley and a worker, later identified as Octavio Sanchez, in the 4700 block of Scottsdale Avenue in Parkway Village. During the robbery, Cunningham shot the victim in the neck, killing him. Sandifer and another man, Thomas Moss, are also being tried on murder charges. “I’m so thankful that our family has been spared the horror and uncertainty of a trial,” his widow, Beverly Shelley, said in a statement after Friday’s court session. “I truly appreciate the hard work and long hours put in by the prosecutors and the Memphis Police Department. I pray that I can honor JP’s life and our children by making a difference in the lives of juvenile offenders in Memphis.”

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