14-year-old murder suspect is city jail's youngest inmate - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

14-year-old murder suspect is city jail's youngest inmate

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC-TV) - At age 14, Donald Rivers is the youngest suspect sitting behind bars in the city jail, charged as an adult in the murder of an 18-year-old.
   
The district attorney's office has a policy on teens and violent crime: if the offenders are 16 or 17, they'll most likely go to 201 Poplar. 
 
But at only 14, Donald Rivers is an unusual case.

On February 24, Reginald Crawford was shot and killed in front his house, within walking distance of East High School.

"He was a good person," said brother Antwuan Crawford. "He was a good brother to me. A kind person."

Rivers, a neighbor and family friend, spent one month in juvenile court custody for the crime. 

But a juvenile judge granted the prosecution's request to transfer Rivers' case to 201 Poplar.

He's now locked up at the Criminal Justice Center, charged as an adult with second degree murder. He'll stay there while awaiting trial.
 
"Given all the circumstances of this case, I thought it was in the public's interest," said District Attorney General Bill Gibbons.

Rivers is the youngest inmate in the Shelby County Jail, but he's hardly the only adolescent.

According to jail statistics, 65 inmates are under age 18. Two inmates are 16, and one is just 15 years old.

"You do grown men things, you get grown men consequences out of it," said Antron Kelly, Crawford's stepfather.

If convicted, Rivers faces up to 25 years in prison.

Crawford's family says they're pleased he's locked up at 201 Poplar, but say they wish Rivers had been charged with first degree murder.

Gibbons says prosecutors did not charge Rivers with first degree murder because they don't believe the murder was premeditated.
 

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