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Shelby County District Attorney General breaks down juvenile violence this year

District Attorney General Amy Weirich released a look at the cases involving underage defendants her office has dealt with so far in 2021.
Credit: zef art - stock.adobe.com

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A day before Thursday's shooting at Cummings K-8 Optional School in Memphis, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office released a breakdown of violence by juveniles that their office has dealt with so far this year.

District Attorney General Amy Weirich said Wednesday that crime committed by juvenile defenses have included four murders, six sexual assaults, and 19 cases involving the threat or use of a deadly weapon. And as of September 1st, 25 juveniles have been transferred to adult court.

The D.A. said Tennessee law allows for juveniles to be handled as adults in certain cases, including:

  • Those under 14 who commit murder 1st, murder 2nd or attempted murder 1st and attempted murder 2nd.
  • Those between 14-17 who commit or attempt to commit a violent crime (murder, rape, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, carjacking, aggravated burglary).
  • Those between 16-17 who commit robbery .
  • Those between 17-18 -- regardless of the crime.

The D.A. said a judge can also consider a child’s prior record.

So far this year, the 25 cases that were transferred to adult criminal court include:

  • 3 cases of first-degree murder.
  • 1 case of second-degree murder.
  • 6 rapes or aggravated sexual batteries of minor victims
  • 19 involve the threat or use of deadly weapon
  • 1 knife
  • 1 tire iron believed to be a gun
  • 17 handguns/rifles being pointed at, discharged at, or used to beat victims

The D.A. said the youngest person transferred this year was 14-years-old on a charge of first-degree murder. The oldest was 40-years-old, but it was a rape that happened when he was a minor, which required a transfer hearing.

The D.A. said the majority of cases transferred to adult court are for 17 or 18-year-olds.

She said six have no prior criminal history, and 19 have prior cases involving aggravated robbery, carjacking, rape, aggravated burglary, weapon offenses, and theft.

Below is a look at the brief narratives of the cases from the Shelby County D.A.

(An offender may be involved in more than one incident.)  

  1. Juvenile points AR style rifle at victim and took his car, keys, wallet and phone.
  2. Same juvenile as above and co-defendant point rifle at victim sitting in her car. She has no cash so they take her phone, license and debit card. 
  3. Victim has conversation with juvenile and another male. When victim turns to leave, juvenile fired five shots at him. 
  4. Two juveniles (one wearing a DCS ankle monitor from a prior Aggravated Robbery) rob a man with tire iron of his car and keys.
  5. Three juveniles—all armed with handguns—take cash from cousin of one of the   juveniles.
  6. Same juvenile who robbed his cousin, pointed a handgun at head of another victim from back seat and took his truck. 
  7. Juvenile approaches victim sitting in his car. Hits him in the head with gun; drags him from car, threatens to kill him and takes car.
  8. For the next three weeks, this same juvenile, drives throughout Shelby County bumping people in traffic. When they exit to assess damage, he points gun at them and takes their cars. 
  9. Over a four-day period, five citizens victimized by juvenile and his friends. Each case involved a gun. One victim was shot. One victim was tased. Four cars stolen at gunpoint as well as wallets, purses and cash. 
  10. An 11-year-old victim raped when offender was 15. At time of transfer, offender was 23 years old.
  11. Juvenile raped his sleeping cousin.
  12. Juvenile and two friends victimized two citizens in two days. Armed with guns, they forced one from his car, demanded keys and wallet and fled in victim’s car. Also tased him. 
  13. Same juveniles above – armed -- demanded bags from a victim. Victim refused and was shot. 
  14. One of the juveniles from #12 and #13 above -- with the help of more friends -- went on to victimize six more citizens at gunpoint. Tased one. Shot one. Stole 3    more cars at gunpoint. 
  15. Juvenile raped victim when he was 17. Case went unsolved until now. At time of transfer, offender was 40. 
  16. Juvenile pulls out gun and shoots at people sitting outside. One died. One injured.
  17. Juvenile raped a child under the age of 12.
  18. Juvenile wearing DCS ankle monitor and with the help of several friends, in one    day, takes property from six different citizens at gunpoint. He took a car from a food delivery person at gunpoint. Put gun to head of one of his victims saying “don’t do anything stupid.” Stole phones, wallets, cash. 
  19. Same juvenile as above and two weeks later—with help of four friends,   approaches victim, points rifle in his face and takes his phone. 
  20. Juvenile paid to use recording studio. After session, stabbed victim nearly to death to get his money back.
  21. Juvenile shot and killed victim after unsuccessfully trying to grab money from victim. 
  22. Juvenile over two days victimized two citizens. Stole a car at gunpoint from Lyft   driver. Committed one drive-by shooting at occupied home.
  23. Juvenile pulls out gun and shoots and kills someone he is talking to. 
  24. Juvenile committed aggravated sexual battery against 7-year-old niece.
  25. Juvenile inside car from which shot fired at police officers. Prior to that, juvenile and his four friends approached two women in a car. Ordered them out at gun point. Threatened to shoot them in the face and stole both of their cars. 
  26. Juvenile shoots and kills one victim at apartment complex and injures another.
  27. Juvenile and friend approach victim, point gun at his head and took his car. 
  28. Over four days, juvenile and his friends, stole three cars. Hit two victims with a gun. Threatened a third. Bumped one victim in traffic and took car and phone at gunpoint when victim exited to check car. 
  29. Juvenile forced a 12-year-old victim to perform oral sex on him. Filmed the incident. Video distributed throughout local high school.