15-year-old suspect in pastor’s murder charged as adult, other teen charged as juvenile

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 12:18 PM EST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The two teens suspected of murdering a Memphis pastor during a carjacking faced a judge Friday morning to decide if they will be tried as adults or juveniles.

Miguel Andrade, 15, and Brayan Carrillo, 17, both appeared in juvenile court.

Both Andrade and Carrillo face charges of first-degree murder, murder in the perpetration of a robbery, aggravated robbery, carjacking and employing a firearm during a dangerous felony in relation to the death of Pastor Dr. Autura Eason-Williams last summer.

Miguel Andrade, 15, is accused of killing Rev. Dr. Autura Eason-Williams in her driveway.
Miguel Andrade, 15, is accused of killing Rev. Dr. Autura Eason-Williams in her driveway.(Action News 5)

Prosecutors were seeking that both teens would be tried as adults, but later decided to withdraw that request for Carrillo, represented by attorney Blake Ballin.

At Friday’s hearing, Carrillo pleaded guilty to his charges and will be under DCS custody until the age of 19.

Andrade, the accused triggerman, will be transferred to adult court. A bond was set for $200,000.

If he posts bond, he will be under strict stipulations. Drug and alcohol counseling will be mandatory along with GPS tracking that will only allow him to attend school and court, along with daily drug and alcohol screenings.

Andrade was out on probation and was wearing a GPS monitor at the time the crime was committed.

Both teens have a history of juvenile crime.

Memphis police say Dr. Autura was attacked in her driveway on Whitehaven Lane on July 18. Her car was taken and found wrecked hours later.

Days after her death, her husband, Darrell Eason-Williams, told Action News 5 he wanted his wife’s accused killers transferred out of juvi and straight to 201.

”You didn’t just take her car, you shot her numerous times, pulled her out, and left her for dead. That ain’t no regular crime,” he said.

But the pastor’s children felt very differently.

”My mother was a visionary,” said her daughter Ayanna Hampton. “If I were to say ‘throw those children under the jail, charge them as adults, give them the death penalty, send them to jail forever, I would not have learned anything from my mother in 31 years. I have to believe in God’s absolute ability to redeem any person. That’s not my job.”

Juvenile Court Judge Tarik Sugarmon approved Andrade’s transfer to adult court and also gave him bond.

”Because of the nature of his charges,” said Ballin, “I suspect he’ll be in a secure facility and they will get him the help he needs. The goal, of course, is that he comes out of this a better person and a better member of society, to have him rehabilitated instead of punished.”

Observers say Darrell left the courtroom in shock after the hearing. He wanted both suspects to face the most serious consequences for killing the woman he called his “best friend.”

“My wife would not want these boys free out here on the streets,” he told Action News 5 last year. “I know that my wife would push for them to be transferred to prison. Now, she would want them to get help in prison, but she would not want these boys to be out there on the streets to harm anybody else.”

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy requested Andrade’s transfer to adult court. His office provided the following statement:

“When the District Attorney makes a decision to request the transfer of a juvenile to the adult system, the following factors are considered: age, prior criminal history, and actions during and after the incident. Due to Andrade’s criminal history, and alleged violent actions during the carjacking, as well as his apparent lack of remorse, we have decided to request his transfer to the adult system.

“We have taken the defendant’s age into consideration. However, we must balance this with our duty to obtain justice for the victim and her family, and our interest in public safety.”

The third suspect, 21-year-old Eduard Rodriguez Tabora, is in jail on a $1 million bond awaiting the results of a grand jury investigation.

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