Memphis teen 1 of 2 charged in church leader’s 2022 killing

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy and a 21-year-old man have been indicted in the carjacking and fatal shooting of a prominent United Methodist Church leader in Memphis, Tennessee, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Miguel Andrade, 15, and Eduard Rodriguez-Tabora, 21, were each indicted on charges of first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery in the July 18, 2022, death of the Rev. Autura Eason-Williams, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Eason-Williams was found in the driveway of her home with gunshot wounds. She died at a hospital. Video footage showed that the pastor was ordered out of her car and then shot before her car was taken, police said.

Rodriguez-Tabora’s lawyer declined to comment. A lawyer for Andrade was not listed in online court records.

The daytime shooting shook United Methodist Church members in Memphis and elsewhere. Eason-Williams was superintendent of the Metro District of the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference of the church. She also was the pastor of Capleville United Methodist Church and a graduate of Memphis Theological Seminary.

Andrade has been transferred from juvenile court to adult court. In its request to have Andrade charged as an adult, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office considered his age, prior criminal history and actions during the alleged crime, DA spokesperson Erica Williams said in January.

Another 15-year-old boy who was charged with being involved in the carjacking has pleaded guilty in juvenile court.

Eason-Williams led youth camps, retreats and women’s events, and she preached for local, district and conference church events.

She also served on several boards and on planning committees that created My Sister’s Keeper — an outreach that addresses health disparities of African American women — and the Congregational Health Network — a network of 600 churches that address health disparities and build relationships between hospitals, the faith community and neighborhoods, according to a biography posted on Eason-Williams’ website.

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