Pastor’s children speak out after another person charged in her killing in Whitehaven

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Another person has been charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a Memphis pastor during a carjacking in Whitehaven.

The incident happened July 18 on Whitehaven Lane.

Memphis Police said Autura Eason-Williams was shot multiple times during the incident, and she died afterward at Regional One.

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According to an affidavit, video footage showed Eason-Williams drove her Infiniti Q50 into her driveway, and the suspects followed her in a Hyundai.

Two masked suspects got out and ran up to the pastor’s car.

The person from the driver’s side fired several shots, striking Eason-Williams, police said.

That suspect then pulled her from her car, got into the driver’s seat, and drove away.

Six 9mm shell casings were found at the scene.

MORE: 15-year-old charged with murder of Memphis faith leader, police say

During the investigation, police developed Eduard G. Rodriguez Tabora, 20, as a suspect, the affidavit said.

He was located on July 26.

Tabora gave a statement that he was with two juveniles when Eason-Williams was killed.

He said one of the juveniles was driving the Hyundai, and the other one ran to the driver’s side of Eason-Williams’ car.

He said he ran to the passenger side, police said.

Tabora said he was wearing a face mask and gloves and carrying a handgun.

After the shooting, he ran back to the Hyundai and fled with another juvenile.

He’s charged with First-Degree Murder, Especially Aggravated Robbery, Facilitation First-Degree Murder, and Employment of Firearm W/I to Commit a Felony, records show.

Later that night, officers found Eason-Williams’ car wrecked out at Lynchburg Street and Steuben Drive.

MORE: 15-year-old charged in Memphis pastor’s death could be tried as an adult, DA says

Two 15-year-olds allegedly involved in the shooting have also been charged with first-degree murder and other crimes.

Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich is seeking to have them both tried as adults.

Eason-Williams’ children said they do not want the teens tried as adults.

Her daughter, Ayana Hampton, said, “We are not convinced that we have to send children to adult prison for them to suffer the proper consequences that will fit their crime.”

The children said they requested the teens not be tried as adults during a meeting with the DA.

“I was told yesterday there would likely be more support for these children in the adult system than there would in the juvenile system,” Ayana said. “If that’s the truth, that is an atrocity and makes no sense.”

She said her main concern was the teens not being tried as adults.

Terrence Hampton said of Eason-Williams: “She taught grace and love. She taught me the value of community and helping those kids. I do that to this day.”

“I was told yesterday there would likely be more support for these children in the adult system than there would in the juvenile system,” Ayana said. “If that’s the truth, that is an atrocity and makes no sense.”

Eason-Williams’ children said they are glad the police continue to investigate and hold those involved accountable.

However, her husband of eight years and children’s stepfather, Darrell Eason-Williams feels differently, hoping to see the teen suspects tried as adults for the murder of his wife.

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On the family differences, Weirich said, “Like in most families, there are differences of opinions. This is one of those cases. I must weigh all of their wishes but most important is the safety of our community and citizens.”

Juveniles between 14 and 17 who are charged with serious crimes are eligible to transfer to adult court, and Weirich said she believes this case fits into that description.

MORE: Second 15-year-old charged with Memphis pastor’s murder, DA seeks to try as adult

In a statement, Weirich acknowledged the wishes of Eason-Williams’ children but said that she will still seek to try the teens arrested in her murder as adults.

“I absolutely agree with the children who spoke today and we do need more community involvement and intervention in the lives of our youth and that is the best way to honor the legacy of Rev. Autura Eason Williams. However, the young men accused of killing Rev. Eason Williams have been in the juvenile system before and are a danger and threat to the safety of our citizens and I will pursue trying them in adult court.”