Breaking News
More () »

Opinion | Those in authority have a lot more explaining to do | Otis Sanford

ABC24 political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shared his point of view on the justice system failures in recent Memphis violence.

MEMPHIS, Mo. — As more details emerge surrounding two people believed responsible for horrendous deadly violence in Memphis recently, it is clear that those in authority have a lot more explaining to do.

19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly, who allegedly killed three people and wounded three others during a shooting spree across the city last Wednesday, had only gotten out of prison in March of this year. He served just 11 months of a three-year sentence for aggravated assault, that was pleaded down from attempted murder. And someone needs to explain why Kelly served less than a third his sentence.

RELATED: Previous convictions of men charged in high-profile murders detailed in Shelby County juvenile court

But perhaps even more egregious is the case involving Cleotha Henderson – the man charged in the kidnapping and murder of Eliza Fletcher. Thanks for aggressive news reporting, we have learned that Henderson was suspected of committing a rape in 2021, but the state crime lab took 11 months to complete a DNA analysis of the rape kit. The analysis was finally completed three days after Fletcher’s abduction, and it linked Henderson to the earlier rape.

So far, all we’ve gotten from the TBI is finger-pointing at Memphis police for not requesting an expedited analysis of the rape kit. And police aren’t saying much except that the rape kit was submitted to the TBI, and they could not arrest Henderson until the analysis was done.

In other words, the system failed all the way around. And the public deserves more answers.

RELATED: Man charged in Eliza Fletcher's murder appears in court on theft charge

RELATED: Man arraigned on charges of making threats to Memphis community on social media

RELATED: Mayor: Shooting spree suspect had been released from prison 6 months ago

Before You Leave, Check This Out