New District Attorney General first woman to hold post in Shelby - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New District Attorney General first woman to hold post in Shelby Co.

By Ursula Madden - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - She is still getting used to the name on her door, but Amy Weirich has been preparing for her newly-appointed position as the Shelby County District Attorney General in an arena where most attorneys fear to tread.

"I've been in the courtroom for 20 years," said Weirich.  "I've been trying cases and handling preliminary hearings, and doing arraignments, and post convictions, and all of the responsibilities that all of our trial attorneys perform every day.  I've been doing it."

Weirich has been getting convictions for some of the county's most notorious criminals.

Weirich got a first degree murder conviction against Quinton Sanders in the death of Memphis Police officer Don Overton.  She prosecuted Leonard "Sonny" Young, who was sentenced to death for the murder of University of Memphis student Hillary Johnson.  She also prosecuted Noura Jackson in the savage death of her mother.

Weirich said away from the high-profile cases, there also comes the tough choice not to prosecute.

"Looking at a file and having to make the gut-wrenching decision that you've got to null prosecute this case," she said.  "That you don't have either the right person, or there are other problems with the case.  And as horrible as the facts may be, and as much as the victim is crying in your office you still have a job to do."

Right now there are only three female District Attorney Generals in Tennessee.  Weirich is the first woman to hold the post in Shelby County, but she said she is not concerned about gender.

"If you're a man or a woman, this job is a challenge," Weirich said.

Weirich said the more than 200 employees in the District Attorney's office can expect her to be "Weirich ready."

"I guess what that would mean is that, your case is ready," she said.  "You have of course interviewed all of your witnesses, you've made sure we have a case that needs to be tried to a jury.  You've gotten your evidence checked out of the property room. And you're ready to stand up and address a jury as a representative of the District Attorney Generals Office."

District Attorney Weirich said she will continue to try cases in front of a jury.  As the former head of the gang unit, she said she is deeply invested in some of the cases that are being prosecuted.

"I love this job, I love this office, and I'm very excited to be able to lead it," said Weirich.

Weirich said she will focus on domestic violence and drug crimes when she travels to Nashville to lobby state lawmakers.

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