MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Accused cop killer Treveno Campbell waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Thursday. His case will now go before a grand jury, which will decide whether to indict him.
Campbell is accused of gunning down Memphis police officer and mother of four, Martoiya Lang, in December. The Shelby County District Attorney General, Amy Weirich, is taking an active role in this case - she's prosecuting it herself. A sitting D.A. in Shelby County hasn't chosen to prosecute a case in more than 20 years.
Ray Tanner is a life-long Memphian. In 81 years he's seen the violence escalate. "I think it's appalling," Tanner says, "but until we learn to live with each other and respect one another's different beliefs it's going to go on and on."
Tanner says the violence against Memphis Police officers is particularly alarming. Two officers were killed in Memphis within a year and half of each other. In a unique move for Shelby County, Weirich is leading the prosecution team against the latest accused cop killer, Campbell. Why this case? Weirich responds, "It was the right thing to do."
Weirich tried an existing case when she first came to office. According to the D.A.'s office, prior to her, Hugh Stanton, more than 20 years ago, was the last sitting D.A. in Shelby County to prosecute a new case. With all the recent crime, she hopes this action sends a message. "If it does, if it lets everybody know that we're not going to take lightly the aggression and violence inflicting on officers, I hope that's all it takes." Weirich says, "Unfortunately I think it's going to take a little more."
Campbell's Defense Attorney, William Massey, says Weirich's presence will be a good challenge. "General Weirich has been in front of those juries for a long time and she is a very formidable advisory." He says, "Having her in the courtroom will be a big plus for the prosecution, no doubt about it."
Tanner says Weirich's role could get people to pay attention. "Jurors might, yes, I think they might," Tanner says, "and the public might be impressed."
Weirich is trying the case along with Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Nichols.
Campbell is charged with First Degree Murder and Attempted Murder. Weirich has not decided if they will seek the death penalty against him.