Breaking News
More () »

Shelby County Juvenile Court continues to investigate why teen's ankle monitor failed before allegedly killing Memphis reverend

Local attorneys say the questions around 15-year-old's ankle monitor supervision highlights broader funding issues for probation manpower.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Those at the Shelby County Juvenile Court continue to investigate a 15-year-old on ankle monitoring but whose whereabouts weren't alerted or flagged last week.

That teenager - who Memphis Police identified as Miguel Andrade - is accused by authorities and in court documents in the shooting death of Rev. Autura Eason-Williams during a carjacking in Whitehaven in her driveway last Monday, along with another carjacking hours later in Cordova.

While the juvenile court office looks into what went wrong and how this teenager apparently went off the monitoring grid last week, a local attorney said it's party of a broader issue: funding challenges for such supervision.

"We have exactly the juvenile court system that we pay for and you know that's on all of us as members of the community," Attorney Michael Working said.

Working said those funding woes have the juvenile court case of Andrade now under the microscope.

RELATED: D.A. seeks to try second teen as an adult in murder of Memphis church leader

Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael said the 15-year-old was ordered on an ankle monitor supervision in March as part of a plea deal for three separate carjackings but wasn't detected when police and court documents say he committed two other carjackings last Monday in Whitehaven and Cordova. 

"Funding for probation services for juveniles is woefully inadequate, it's hard to supervise them at all given the funds that they have," Working added.

Judge Michael told ABC24 Friday Andrade's family was notified twice in recent months when a monitor couldn't charge and needed to be replaced.

"There's requirements, you know, that batteries have to be charged, there could be faulty equipment, there could be a lot of things that go wrong," Working said.

RELATED: Rev. Eason-Williams joined anti-gun violence initiative days before being murdered

The attorney said that's one of several potential ways someone on a monitor can fall through the cracks in supervision, along with available manpower.

"What if that probation is on vacation, what if that probation officer has COVID, what if the probation officer has a sick child and isn't at work that day, they are so strung thin that no one is there to cover for a probation officer who just might not be at work that day," Working said.

ABC24 emailed Shelby County's lead probation agents Monday morning for additional comment about their policies on monitoring juveniles with ankle monitors - but have yet to hear back.

Before You Leave, Check This Out